ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2020, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (12): 1421-1435.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01421

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


姚琦1, 吴章建1(), 张常清2, 符国群3   

  1. 1 重庆交通大学经济与管理学院 重庆 400074
    2 重庆大学经济与工商管理学院 重庆 400044
    3 北京大学光华管理学院 北京 100871
  • 收稿日期:2019-12-02 出版日期:2020-12-25 发布日期:2020-10-26
  • 通讯作者: 吴章建
  • 基金资助:
    * 国家自然科学基金面上项目(71772021);国家自然科学基金重点项目(71632001);教育部人文社会科学规划项目(17YJA630122);重庆市科技项目(cstc2016jcyjA0173)

Effect of power on conspicuous prosocial behavior

YAO Qi1, WU Zhangjian1(), ZHANG Changqing2, FU Guoqun3   

  1. 1 School of Economics and Management, Chongqing Jiaotong University, Chongqing 400074, China
    2 School of Economics and Business Administration, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China
    3 Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2019-12-02 Online:2020-12-25 Published:2020-10-26
  • Contact: WU Zhangjian


基于高成本价值信号理论, 本文探究了权力感对炫耀性亲社会行为的影响。5个实验的结果表明:权力感促使个体更愿意从事炫耀性亲社会行为, 高(vs. 低)权力感个体更倾向购买炫耀性亲社会产品, 更愿意进行炫耀性捐赠且捐赠金额较高, 也更愿意参与炫耀性善行, 其机制在于高权力感者具有较高的自我矫饰动机。本文对理解权力感对个体行为的影响、丰富权力感与亲社会行为的研究文献有理论贡献, 对有效引导高权力感者从事亲社会行为具有实践价值。

关键词: 权力感, 炫耀性亲社会行为, 公开承认, 自我矫饰动机


Conspicuous prosocial behavior refers to prosocial behaviors that are publicly displayed to enhance the image of the helper in the eyes of others. The existing research suggests that sense of power simultaneously generates self-interested behaviors and inhibits individual prosocial behavior. However, an increased number of recent researches indicate that several personal traits and environmental factors encourage individuals with power to conduct more prosocial behaviors. Moreover, less research has been conducted to explore the relationship between power and conspicuous prosocial behavior. The present study proposes that powerful (vs. powerless) individuals are more willing to engage in conspicuous prosocial behaviors with self-presentation as a mediating variable.
Five experiments (Experiments 1, 2a, 2b, 3, and 4) were performed to test the hypotheses. Experiments 1 and 3 explored the relationship between power and conspicuous prosocial behaviors using the class role imagination task to manipulate sense of power. Experiment 1 participants (139 adults, 50 men) were provided with information about two backpacks. Experiment 3 participants (237 adults, 121 men) were shown an advertisement. Experiment 2a participants (147 adults, 75 men) involved powerful and powerless individuals who were instructed to report donation willingness and amount under two conditions, namely, public acknowledgment and control. Experiment 2b is a field study in which participants (210 adults, 93 men) who completed a recall task decided whether to write down their e-mail after perusing the information about a public service advertisement. Lastly, Experiment 4 examined the mediating role of self-presentation for which 117 adults were asked to indicate their sense of power, self-presentation motivation, and willingness to participate in blatant benevolence by a random sequence.
Experiment 1 indicated that the powerful (vs. the powerless) tend to buy conspicuous green products with clear environmental labels. Experiment 2a demonstrated that powerful individuals display higher levels of willingness to donate and donate more compared with the powerless and under the public acknowledgment condition. Experiment 2b revealed that the powerful rather than the powerless tend to write down their e-mail under the public acknowledgment condition. Experiment 3 provided evidence that a strongly conspicuous inclination among powerful participants is not attributed to a general tendency to show off when engaging in prosocial behaviors. Finally, Experiment 4 not only replicated the effect of power on conspicuous prosocial behaviors, but also established the mediating role of self-presentation.
The current study demonstrates the relationship between power and conspicuous prosocial behaviors. That is, individuals with high (vs. low) power are more willing to engage in conspicuous prosocial behaviors with self-presentation as a mediating factor. The findings of this work have important practical significance for marketing managers in terms of the utilization of sense of power to effectively guide individuals to engage in prosocial behaviors.

Key words: sense of power, conspicuous prosocial behaviors, public acknowledgement, self-presentation