Facts versus 'feelings': How rational is the decision to become an organ donor?

Susan E. Morgan, Michael T. Stephenson, Tyler R. Harrison, Walid A. Afifi, Shawn D. Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Researchers are already aware that decision making about health issues is not necessarily driven by rational or cognitive-based decision-making processes. This appears to be especially true for the decision to donate organs. Although hints about what is actually driving the decision-making process are scattered throughout the literature, noncognitive factors have not been tested systematically. Structural equation modeling of data gathered from 4426 participants at six different geographic locations in the United States demonstrates that cognitive-based factors (such as knowledge about donation) are less influential on the decision to donate than noncognitive variables such as the desire to maintain bodily integrity, worries that signing a donor card might 'jinx' a person, and medical mistrust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)644-658
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Health campaigns
  • Health communication
  • Organ donation
  • Organ transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Facts versus 'feelings': How rational is the decision to become an organ donor?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this