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Does moral cleansing moderate the effect of evolutionary altruism on helping intention? An exploratory study

Hayley, Alexa and Zinkiewicz, Lucy 2013, Does moral cleansing moderate the effect of evolutionary altruism on helping intention? An exploratory study, Journal of social, evolutionary and cultural psychology, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 24-35.

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Title Does moral cleansing moderate the effect of evolutionary altruism on helping intention? An exploratory study
Author(s) Hayley, Alexa
Zinkiewicz, LucyORCID iD for Zinkiewicz, Lucy orcid.org/0000-0002-1861-1673
Journal name Journal of social, evolutionary and cultural psychology
Volume number 7
Issue number 1
Start page 24
End page 35
Total pages 12
Publisher Journal of Social, Evolutionary and Cultural Psychology
Place of publication Online
Publication date 2013-01
ISSN 1933-5377
Keyword(s) helping
moral cleansing
evolutionary
reciprocal altruism
online
experimental
null result
Summary There is strong evidence for social evolutionary motivations for helping (e.g., reciprocal altruism) and also growing support for the influence of the social cognitive theory of moral cleansing on prosociality. Where the former motivation is interpersonal, the latter is intrapersonal. This experimental study hypothesized that, in addition to main effects of evolutionary altruism and moral cleansing on helping intention, an interaction would occur between these theoretical motivations. Using three situational helping scenarios as dependent measures, the effect of participants’ morally-valenced recalled behavior (moral/immoral/achievement/failure) and the effect of their social proximity to a helping target (cousin/colleague/stranger) on helping intention was determined. Overall, 616 Australian participants (90.1% female) completed the online experiment. Two-way ANOVA demonstrated a consistent main effect of social proximity on helping intention across all three helping scenarios, supporting evolutionary social psychological explanations for helping. However, instead of moral self-regulation effects, moral identity consistency effects were induced by the moral behavior recall manipulation. A main effect of behaviour recall on helping intention occurred, with moral recall increasing helping intention. The problem of theoretical ambiguity regarding moral identity consistency and moral self-regulation is discussed, as is the useful role of null result publications in informing effective experimental design.
Language eng
Field of Research 170113 Social and Community Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2013, Journal of Social, Evolutionary and Cultural Psychology
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30052579

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Created: Tue, 21 May 2013, 15:58:14 EST by Jane Moschetti

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.