Although theoretical considerations suggest that a considerable portion of human altruism is driven by concerns about reputation, few experimental studies have examined the psychological correlates of individual decisions in real-life situations. Here we demonstrate that more subjects were willing to give assistance to unfamiliar people in need if they could make their charity offers in the presence of their group mates than in a situation where the offers remained concealed from others. In return, those who were willing to participate in a particular charitable activity received significantly higher scores than others on scales measuring sympathy and trustworthiness. Finally, a multiple regression analysis revealed that while several personality and behavior traits (cooperative ability, Machiavellianism, sensitivity to norms, and sex) play a role in the development of prosocial behavior, the possibility of gaining reputation within the group remains a measurable determinant of charitable behavior.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Evolution and Human Behavior|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 1 2007|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)