Self-consciousness, self-reported altruism, and helping behavior

Joyce D. Smith1, David R. Shaffer1
1University of Georgia, United States
Cite this article:  Smith, J. D., & Shaffer, D. R. (1986). Self-consciousness, self-reported altruism, and helping behavior. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 14(2), 215-220.

Volume 14 Issue 2 | e502 | Published: August 1986 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1986.14.2.215

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Female participants who differed in public and private self-consciousness and in self-reported altruism were afforded an opportunity to assist a person in need. As anticipated, participants high in private self-consciousness provided more assistance to the recipient than did participants low on this attribute. However, there was a tendency for “high private” participants to be somewhat less helpful if they were also high in public self-consciousness. Internal analyses revealed that self-reported altruism, a measure of one’s altruistic inclinations, reliably predicted the helping behavior of participants high in private self-consciousness, but did not predict the prosocial actions of those low in private self-consciousness. The implications of these findings for self-consciousness theory and the issue of value-behavior correspondence are discussed.


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