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Unpredictable and competitive cues affect prosocial behaviors and judgments
Zhu, Nan1; Skyler T. Hawk2; Lei Chang1
2019-02
Source PublicationPersonality and individual differences
ISSN0191-8869
Volume138Pages:203-211
Abstract

Why natural selection would favor thoughts or behaviors that benefit others at the cost of oneself (prosociality) in humans is an intriguing question. The present studies explored two kinds of cues representing overarching environmental factors that might affect prosociality: unpredictability, which represents the variability of extrinsic threats, and competition, which represents the relevance of others performance to one's fitness. In three experiments, we also took into account the interaction between the two environmental factors and two moderators, namely resource availability and prosocial thinking types. In each experiment, participants were exposed to cues of unpredictability and/or competition before assessment of spontaneous prosocial behaviors (Studies 1 and 2) or prosocial judgments in dual-choice dilemmas (Study 3). Results showed that unpredictable cues generally led to lower prosocial behaviors and fewer prosocial judgments (Studies 2 & 3). In contrast, competitive cues led to lower prosocial behaviors among individuals with resource disadvantages (Study 1), and when combined with unpredictable cues (Study 2). However, competition also led to higher prosocial behaviors among individuals with resource advantages (Study 1) and more prosocial judgments in response to rational, utilitarian dilemmas (Study 3). Taken together, these results indicated that human prosociality is affected by environmental factors in predictable ways.

KeywordAltruism Social Competition Environmental Unpredictability Prosocial Judgment Prosociality
DOI10.1016/j.paid.2018.10.006
URLView the original
Indexed BySSCI
Language英语
WOS Research AreaPsychology
WOS SubjectPsychology, Social
WOS IDWOS:000452587100031
PublisherPERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Fulltext Access
Citation statistics
Cited Times [WOS]:3   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document TypeJournal article
CollectionDEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY
Corresponding AuthorLei Chang
Affiliation1.University of Macau
2.Chinese University of HongKong
First Author AffilicationUniversity of Macau
Corresponding Author AffilicationUniversity of Macau
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Zhu, Nan,Skyler T. Hawk,Lei Chang. Unpredictable and competitive cues affect prosocial behaviors and judgments[J]. Personality and individual differences,2019,138:203-211.
APA Zhu, Nan,Skyler T. Hawk,&Lei Chang.(2019).Unpredictable and competitive cues affect prosocial behaviors and judgments.Personality and individual differences,138,203-211.
MLA Zhu, Nan,et al."Unpredictable and competitive cues affect prosocial behaviors and judgments".Personality and individual differences 138(2019):203-211.
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