Understanding Organ Donation



(Blackwell_Claremont Applied Social Psychology Series) Jason T. Siegel, Eusebio M. Alvaro - Understanding Organ Donation_ Applied Behavioral Science Perspectives -Wiley-Blackwell (2010)


Being researchers fortunate enough to be funded as part of the Social and Behavioral Science grant program of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), we attend several yearly meetings where fellow grantees presented their findings. Year after year we listen to our colleagues’ presentations of intervention calamity and recovery. Reports of campaigns leading to increases in hospital consent rates and workplace interventions increasing the number of registered workers are commonplace. Gains in knowledge about organ donor registration behavior are rivaled only by the lessons learned as researchers and practitioners teamed up to apply social science and behavioral theories to a domain with great need.

One project was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina (Johnson and Weber, this volume), another by a funeral home tissue scandal (Hebert et al., this volume). We knew that a book highlighting these studies and showing off the range of applied studies that this area is built upon could benefit both the organ donation field and psychologists and other behavioral scientists interested in domains where their skills can be put to use with saving lives as the goal.

This volume, the 24th in the long-standing series of books drawn from Claremont Graduate University’s Annual Applied Social Psychology Symposium, serves as a comprehensive introduction to, and survey of, social and behavioral science perspectives on organ donation. It should be noted that, with the exception of a single chapter, this volume focuses on nonliving organ donation. This emphasis reflects the field as a whole as it is only recently that intervention research on living donation has begun in earnest.


In selecting chapters and contributors, great care was taken to include insights from organ donation professionals, policy makers, scientists conducting organ donation research, and the broader social and behavioral science community. Chapters were selected so as to provide valuable information on one or a number of areas of interest.

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