Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in Psychology (MA)
Denise R. Beike
Jennifer C. Veilleux
Second Committee Member
Altruism, Guilt, Helping, Prosocial Behavior, Regret, Sadness
Previous research has suggested that emotions can influence people’s motivation to engage in prosocial behaviors. Even negatively-valenced emotions, like sadness, guilt, and shame, have been shown to motivate prosocial behaviors. Exploratory analyses of a previous study indicated that regret may also motivate increased prosocial intentions, but no research has been published to experimentally test whether feelings of regret may motivate prosocial behaviors. Therefore, the present research seeks to experimentally manipulate participants’ current emotional state to empirically examine whether regret motivates greater helping behavior than other, similar negative emotions that have already been demonstrated to motivate prosocial behaviors in humans. These studies will also use two separate samples to examine potential age differences in the effects of regret on prosocial behavior. Study 1 indicated that there were no differences in prosocial behavior between emotion conditions but there was a marginal difference between the undergraduate and Prolific samples. Study 2 replicated these results and further suggests that prosocial behavior may be motivated by altruism rather than egotism.
Findley, C. A. (2022). Hurting to Helping: Regret as a Potential Motivator of Helping Behavior. Graduate Theses and Dissertations Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/etd/4623