Growing a moustache to raise awareness about men’s health actually leads to ‘slacktivism’: new UBC study
Each November, moustaches transform from mere style statements into emblems of activism, with each erect follicle a flagstaff for prostate cancer awareness. A groundbreaking new study, however, finds such showy gestures of solidarity are actually less effective than private commitments to a cause.
Reporting in the Journal of Consumer Research, scholars from the University of British Columbia conclude that public token support leads to “slacktivism.” In fact, people who engage in such displays are no more likely to be future volunteers or donors than individuals who are randomly approached for aid.
“There’s often this impression that if we can get these small acts of support — like ‘Liking’ a Facebook cause — it will lead to greater helping down the road,” said co-author Katherine White, professor of marketing and prosocial consumption at the Sauder School of Business. “The take-home of this study is: not necessarily.” (Illustration: NP Graphics)