Promoting third-party prosocial behaviour: the potential of moral emotions

Van de vyver, Julie and Abrams, Dominic (2017) Promoting third-party prosocial behaviour: the potential of moral emotions. In: Intergroup helping. Springer. ISBN 9783319530246

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Item Type:Book Section
Item Status:Live Archive


High levels of poverty and inequality remain, with 22 percent of the developing nation’s population still living under extreme poverty (The World Bank, 2012). Yet many people remain as bystanders to these inequalities (Singer, 2009). This global wealth anomaly highlights the need for research to understand effective strategies for mobilising people to want to help others. The authors consider and review the potential of moral emotions for promoting third-party intergroup prosociality. Drawing on the model of moral emotion prototypicality (Haidt, 2003) and on their separate strands of research, it is proposed that moral elevation and moral outrage are particularly effective emotions for encouraging third-party group members to want to help disadvantaged group members. Drawing on the appraisal tendency framework (Horberg, Oveis, & Keltner, 2011) the specific prosocial effects of moral elevation and moral outrage are considered in more detail. While elevation and outrage may both effectively promote prosocial responses, the appraisal tendency framework would suggest that their prosocial effects should be distinctive and nuanced. Empirical research is reviewed which indeed shows that elevation is more effective at promoting benevolence-oriented outcomes, while outrage is more effective at promoting justice-oriented outcomes. This chapter has clear and direct implications for the applied field. For example, while elevation-inducing and outrage-inducing stimuli may provide effective tools for promoting prosociality, they should be used appropriately. The authors close the chapter with a discussion of these applied implications.

Keywords:Emotion, Elevation, Outrage, Prosocial behavior
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C810 Applied Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:25886
Deposited On:24 Jan 2017 09:52

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