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Does feeling holier than others predict good deeds? Self-construal, self-enhancement and helping behavior

Does feeling holier than others predict good deeds? Self-construal, self-enhancement and helping... Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between self-enhancement and helping behavior/intentions. Some people are more inclined than others to engage in helping behaviors. Determining what individual characteristics are related to helping behavior could have important implications for both marketers and non-profit organizations. Drawing on research on self-enhancement, this paper examines the relationship between the “above-average effect” (the tendency of individuals to rate themselves more favorably than they rate others) specifically on altruistic traits and helping behavior. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected through two surveys and analyzed with correlation analysis, path analysis and structural equation models. Findings – In two studies, we find a positive relationship between interdependence and self-enhancement and a positive relationship between self-enhancement and helping behavior (volunteering in Study 1 and donation behavior in Study 2). We further show that self-enhancement mediates the effect of interdependence on helping. Personal importance of altruistic traits is shown to underlie these relationships. Practical implications – By understanding the antecedents of helping behaviors, non-profit and charity organizations, social marketers and other advocates of pro-social behaviors can enhance the effectiveness of their appeals. Our findings provide insights for both messaging and targeting. Originality/value – This study examines the relationship between self-enhancement and helping behavior. In so doing, it contributes to the self-enhancement literature by identifying the relationship between self-construal and self-enhancement. It also extends understanding of the relationship between these two constructs and helping behavior by revealing the mediating role of self-enhancement on helping behavior. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Consumer Marketing Emerald Publishing

Does feeling holier than others predict good deeds? Self-construal, self-enhancement and helping behavior

Journal of Consumer Marketing , Volume 31 (6/7): 11 – Nov 4, 2014

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0736-3761
DOI
10.1108/JCM-06-2014-1029
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between self-enhancement and helping behavior/intentions. Some people are more inclined than others to engage in helping behaviors. Determining what individual characteristics are related to helping behavior could have important implications for both marketers and non-profit organizations. Drawing on research on self-enhancement, this paper examines the relationship between the “above-average effect” (the tendency of individuals to rate themselves more favorably than they rate others) specifically on altruistic traits and helping behavior. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected through two surveys and analyzed with correlation analysis, path analysis and structural equation models. Findings – In two studies, we find a positive relationship between interdependence and self-enhancement and a positive relationship between self-enhancement and helping behavior (volunteering in Study 1 and donation behavior in Study 2). We further show that self-enhancement mediates the effect of interdependence on helping. Personal importance of altruistic traits is shown to underlie these relationships. Practical implications – By understanding the antecedents of helping behaviors, non-profit and charity organizations, social marketers and other advocates of pro-social behaviors can enhance the effectiveness of their appeals. Our findings provide insights for both messaging and targeting. Originality/value – This study examines the relationship between self-enhancement and helping behavior. In so doing, it contributes to the self-enhancement literature by identifying the relationship between self-construal and self-enhancement. It also extends understanding of the relationship between these two constructs and helping behavior by revealing the mediating role of self-enhancement on helping behavior.

Journal

Journal of Consumer MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 4, 2014

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