Happy to help: further exploring the relationship between subjective well-being and prosocial behaviour

Goulding, Brandon (2015) Happy to help: further exploring the relationship between subjective well-being and prosocial behaviour. Memorial University of Newfoundland. (Unpublished)

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Previous research has indicated a potential causal relationship between prosocial spending and subjective well-being (SWB), with individuals who spend prosocially reporting greater increases in SWB than individuals who spend on themselves. However, these studies have largely been limited to self-report measures. In the present study, 28 participants completed measures of happiness, self-esteem, personality and mood before playing an online game in which correct answers result in real-world donations of rice. Some participants received the opportunity to pledge a donation to a charity before playing, whereas the rest did not. The researcher’s primary prediction was that individuals who pledged a donation would earn more rice, with the amount of rice earned correlating with happiness and therefore functioning as a potential behavioural measure of SWB. There was no significant difference in rice earned between the two groups, and happiness did not predict the amount of rice earned. Further analysis showed that among participants who reported high levels of happiness, those who received an opportunity to donate earned significantly more rice than those who did not receive an opportunity. This was true for participants who pledged a donation, as well as for participants who neglected to donate, suggesting that exposure to the pledge sheet was most important in determining the amount of rice earned. Positive affect, openness, and conscientious were also all found to play a role in moderating the amount of rice earned

Item Type: Other
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11619
Item ID: 11619
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 31-36).
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > School of Arts and Social Science > Psychology
Date: 2015
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Altruism; Internet games--Psychological aspects; Helping behavior; Video gamers--Charitable contributions

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