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Conscientiousness Moderates the Influence of a Help-Eliciting Prime on Prosocial Behavior

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DOI: 10.4236/psych.2014.517198    2,183 Downloads   2,685 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

This study tested whether personality influenced the effect of a help-eliciting prime. Participants (N = 203) attended two experimental sessions. In the first session, Conscientiousness was measured along with several control variables. Participants returned for a second session where they were randomly assigned to a help-eliciting prime or a Control prime. After completing the written prime exercise, participants were asked to respond to a helping scenario. Textual analyses showed that written responses to the help-eliciting prime differed across level of Conscientiousness, with individuals high in Conscientiousness writing more often about one’s moral obligation to help. An ANCOVA analysis revealed a significant main effect for Conscientiousness, as well as a significant interaction effect between Conscientiousness and the Prime. Individuals scoring higher in Conscientiousness were more likely to provide assistance, and this was particularly true if they were in the help-eliciting prime condition. Our results are supportive of an interactional model where one must consider both personality and situational factors to successfully understand and predict helping responses.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Swickert, R. , Abushanab, B. , Bise, H. & Szer, R. (2014). Conscientiousness Moderates the Influence of a Help-Eliciting Prime on Prosocial Behavior. Psychology, 5, 1954-1961. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.517198.

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