ORCID Identifier(s)

0000-0001-7117-5519

Graduation Semester and Year

2016

Language

English

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Daniel S Levine

Second Advisor

Jared B. Kenworthy

Abstract

The role of emotions in decision making processes has long been of interest to researchers due to its relevance in our daily consumption decisions. Recent experimental studies have suggested that specific emotions prime different implicit goals. However, despite their importance in applied settings, there has been a lack of clear understanding of how specific emotions might influence prosocial activities, such as donating money to charitable organizations, or engaging in volunteering behavior. To explore the effect of specific emotions on altruism, a between-subjects study was conducted to examine four emotion conditions (e.g., anxiety, sadness, pride, hope) along with a control neutral condition. These four emotions are generally acknowledged to be prosocial; however, this research attempted to compare probable distinctions in helping behavior among them. The emotions were induced in participants through an autobiographical emotional memory task (AEMT), and subsequently they made a decision in an anonymous allocation in a dictator game task. The results showed no significant differences in altruistic donations among the emotions. However, on average, anxious individuals were the most giving followed by those experiencing neutral, hope and sad emotions. Proud participants were the least altruistic among all the conditions. Limitations and implications for future research are discussed.

Keywords

Emotions, Dictator Game

Disciplines

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Comments

Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Psychology Commons

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