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Organ Donor Willingness Model

Explanation of Theory:

The Organ Donor Willingness Model is a model of the decision to become an organ donor.  It is a framework that evaluates why and how individuals make the decision to become organ donors.

Theorist: Horton & Horton

Date: 1991

Primary Article:

    Horton, P.J., & Horton, R.L. (1991). A model of willingness to become
a potential organ donor. Social Science and Medicine 33(9): 1037-1051.

Individual Interpretations:

The Organ Donor Willingness Model is basically a framework that evaluates why and how individuals make the decision to become organ donors. The model hypothesizes that a personís willingness to donate an organ is influenced by their attitude towards donation.  A personís attitude towards organ donation is comprised of their knowledge, values, attitudes towards death, age and willingness to donate blood.  Several of the specific values which are measured in this model include cheerfulness, forgiveness, honesty, bravery, lovingness and helpfulness.

Metatheoretical Assumptions:

We believe that the Organ Donor Willingness Model is a humanistic theory.  This belief is based on each of the theoryís metatheoretical assumptions.  Here are our findings...

Epistemology:  This model is comprised of multiple truths because it applies to 
different individuals. 
Ontology:  This theory relies heavily on free will because the actions involved are determined by each individual.  This is an active theory.
Axiology:  This theory is value-laden because values and personal beliefs are a major component of this theoryís framework.


Since this model is theorized from a humanistic perspective, we used Farrellís
Non-Scientific Criteria for this analysis.

Analytic Consistency:  Strong; we feel this theory makes logical sense.  We can see why it works as a measure of organ donor willingness.
Methodological Rigor:  Medium; we feel this theory is precisely formulated. However, we feel it might be difficult to apply because it is hard to accurately measure the opinions of people.
Intuitive Credibility:  Credible; wr feel this theory is both practical and somewhat applied.
Heuristic Value:  Fairly strong; we can see the ideas behind this model being applied 
in other fields which study motivation and persuasion.

According to these criteria, the Organ Donor Willingness Model is an effective
humanistic theory.

Ideas and Implications:

Some everyday implications for the Organ Donation Willingness Model include using the model to formulate a successful 
organ donation recruitment campaign on college campuses and in communities.


Since the Organ Donation Willingness model evaluates the attributes that 
organ donors possess, it would be extremely helpful in formulating a campaign on college campuses.  Since one of the important factors in deciding to become an organ donor is knowledge of the
procedure, campaigns on a college campus should address this issue.  By informing
students of the the benefits of being an organ donor, students would be more likely to become donors themselves

Location in Eight (8) Primary Communication Theory Textbooks:

    Anderson, R., & Ross, V. (1998). Questions of communication: A practical introduction to theory (2nd ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press. N/A

     Cragan, J. F., & Shields, D.C. (1998). Understanding communication theory: The communicative forces for human action. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. N/A

     Griffin, E. (2000). A first look at communication theory (4th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. N/A

     Griffin, E. (1997). A first look at communication theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. N/A

      Infante, D. A., Rancer, A. S., & Womack, D. F. (1997). Building communication theory (3rd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press. N/A

      Littlejohn, S. W. (1999). Theories of human communication (6th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. N/A

      West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2000). Introducing communication theory: Analysis and application. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield. N/A

       Wood, J. T. (1997). Communication theories in action: An introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. N/A