4 years ago

Pro-social personality traits, helping behavior, and ego-depletion: Is helping really easier for the dispositionally pro-social?

The goal of the present study was to examine the motivational underpinnings of helping behavior by looking at self-regulatory demands in relation to pro-social personality traits. Across two experiments, we explored the idea that helping behavior is easier or more intrinsically motivated for those high in pro-social traits, and requires more effortful regulation for those low in pro-social traits. We reasoned that helping behavior may be less sensitive to fatigue, and less fatiguing, for pro-social people in an ego-depletion paradigm. Specifically, in Study 1 (n =79), we hypothesized that people high in pro-social traits would show better Stroop task performance, following an initial helping task. In Study 2 (n =91), we expected to find higher helping rates for those high on pro-social traits following a difficult Stroop task manipulation. Contrary to our predictions, Study 1 suggested that those high in pro-social traits were more cognitively depleted following helping, compared to those low in pro-social traits; in Study 2 high pro-social trait scores were associated with less persistence on a helping task following depletion. Overall, our findings suggest that helping behavior is more difficult or effortful for the dispositionally pro-social. Discussion focuses on possible explanations of and degree of confidence in this suggestion.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0191886917305056

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.