Is blood donation contagious?

Updated: Sep 9

We are all heard about the IceBucket Challenge, Dumb Ways to Die or TikTok. What do all these have in common? They are viral and represent a phenomenon known as social contagion - when an idea, behaviour or emotion spreads rapidly in a group. Joris, Eva, Bianca and Pamala studied whether this can also be the case in blood donation. Can individuals "be infected" with this behaviour by their donor peers ?


Here are some interesting ideas to keep in mind:

  • Blood donors influence each other's donation behaviour: they are more likely to keep donating regularly if others do so as well.

  • This influence is particularly strong for donors whose partner is also a blood donor; Donor couples seem to motivate each other to keep donating.

  • In line with previous findings, their results show that blood banks’ retention efforts are likely to be more successful if they are targeted at groups and particularly donor couples.


Want to learn more? Check the full paper: The Social Contagion of Blood Donations: Sustaining Repeated Prosocial Behaviour HERE.