If giving money to the Red Cross increases well-being, does taking money from the Red Cross increase ill-being? – Evidence from three experiments

Frank Martela*, Richard M. Ryan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Does having a negative impact on others decrease one's well-being? In three separate pre-registered studies (n = 111, n = 445, & n = 447), participants engaged in a button-pushing activity for 4 min in three conditions: earning money for themselves (~60c), also earning money for the Red Cross (~15c), or also reducing the money distributed to the Red Cross (~15c). The results of the individual studies and a meta-analysis across them showed that positive impact increased well-being, but even though participants were aware of the negative impact they were having, there was no increased ill-being in the negative impact condition. In Study 3 we examined whether participants in the negative impact condition are mentally compensating by emphasizing the positive impact they are having towards science.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104114
Number of pages10
JournalJOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN PERSONALITY
Volume93
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Antisocial behavior
  • Ill-being
  • Prosocial behavior
  • Prosocial impact
  • Well-being

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