Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (3):325-334 (2012)
What is the role of self-concept in motivating moral behavior? On one account, when people are primed to perceive themselves as “do-gooders”, conscious access to this positive self-concept will reinforce good behavior. On an alternative account, when people are reminded that they have done their “good deed for the day”, they will feel licensed to behave worse. In the current study, when participants were asked to recall their own good deeds (positive self-concept), their subsequent charitable donations were nearly twice that of participants who recalled bad deeds, or recent conversation topics, consistent with an account of moral reinforcement. In addition, among participants reporting good deeds, those who did not note whether they were recognized or unrecognized by other people donated significantly more than participants who took note of others’ responses. In sum, when people are primed to see themselves as good people, who do good for goodness’ sake, not to obtain public credit, they may be motivated to do more good.
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References found in this work BETA
How Actions Create – Not Just Reveal – Preferences.Dan Ariely & Michael I. Norton - 2008 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (1):13-16.
Gratitude: Prompting Behaviours That Build Relationships.Monica Y. Bartlett, Paul Condon, Jourdan Cruz, Jolie Baumann & David Desteno - 2012 - Cognition and Emotion 26 (1):2-13.
Citations of this work BETA
The Ethics of Belief, Cognition, and Climate Change Pseudoskepticism: Implications for Public Discourse.Lawrence Torcello - 2016 - Topics in Cognitive Science 8 (1):19-48.
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