PACIS 2020 Proceedings


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Online medical crowdfunding brings new hopes to families who cannot afford to pay for their medical expenses. As photos play a dominant role in persuasion, this study investigates the impact of photographic narratives on online medical crowdfunding campaigns. From the perspective of theory of persuasive communication, photos are categorized into three persuasive types: pathos (emotional-related), ethos (credible-related), and logos (rational-related). Using a unique dataset constructed from a medical crowdfunding website, the results show that both pathos (emotional-related) and ethos (credible-related) photos have positive persuasion effects. For logos (rational-related) photos, photographic narratives on medical expenses have a negative persuasion effect, while photographic narratives on financial disadvantages have no significant effect on medical crowdfunding performance. Our study provides important theoretical and practical implications.



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