Spanning the globe for insights into human behavior and persuasion.
I gave blood tonight. I usually do when there's a blood drive at church or work. If someone with a camera and a microphone were to have come up to me tonight and ask why I'm donating, I may have said it's because I know I'm contributing to my community, but the blood I donated doesn't go to the closest hospital. I may have said I do it because I may need it myself someday, but I don't plan on ever bleeding that much. If I were feeling particularly sarcastic, I may have said I donate blood so that I can answer questions that make most people blush...
19-year-old phlebotomist: Have you ever had sexual relations with a prostitute?
19-year-old phlebotomist: Have you ever, since 1977, had anal sex?
19-year-old phlebotomist: Have you ever, since 1977, accepted drugs or money for sex?
Me: Hahaha. No.
19-year-old phlebotomist: Have you ever had Babesiosis?
Me: If you mean have I ever had the hots for a babe, then yes.
Honestly, I give blood partly for all of the above reasons--even the questionnaire makes me laugh. But the real reason I give blood is so I can say that I give blood. Not everyone gives blood. It may make them queasy. It may be against their doctor's orders. It may be that they did something circa 1977 that they'd like to keep private. In any case, there's a small group of people who give blood, and I like being one of them.
Something to remember when I'm thinking about what motivates people...