ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2024, Vol. 56 ›› Issue (9): 1210-1224.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2024.01210

• 亲社会行为专刊(1) • 上一篇    下一篇


王天鸿1, 金珊1, 程子鹏2, 娄宇1, 谢晓非1   

  1. 1北京大学心理与认知科学学院, 行为和心理健康北京市重点实验室, 北京 100871;
    2北京大学光华管理学院, 北京 100871
  • 收稿日期:2023-09-27 发布日期:2024-06-25 出版日期:2024-09-25
  • 通讯作者: 谢晓非, E-mail:
  • 基金资助:
    国家自然科学基金(71974005; 71772007)

The prediction bias of conspicuous altruism: Helpers underestimate social evaluations from bystanders

WANG Tianhong1, JIN Shan1, CHENG Zipeng2, LOU Yu1, XIE Xiaofei1   

  1. 1School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences and Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China;
    2Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2023-09-27 Online:2024-06-25 Published:2024-09-25

摘要: 助人者在决定是否主动展示自己的利他行为时常常面临困境, 既希望获得他人赞赏, 又害怕招致负面评价。对利他行为的炫耀是否真的会遭到负面评价? 助人者对社会评价的预测准确吗? 本研究通过7个实验(N = 1362), 揭示了利他炫耀中的预测偏差及其潜在机制: 对于利他炫耀行为, 助人者会低估来自旁观者的社会评价; 感知到的利他动机在这一过程中起中介作用。这一发现有助于深化对利他炫耀行为及其社会评价的理解, 为鼓励助人者主动传播利他行为并进而在社会层面增强利他氛围提供依据。

关键词: 利他炫耀, 预测偏差, 印象管理, 亲社会行为

Abstract: People who help others often find themselves in a predicament: they desire recognition for their acts of kindness, yet feel ashamed and hesitant to showcase their benevolent deeds. From a social perspective, a paradox emerges - altruistic acts must be known to be disseminated and emulated, yet the humble moral principle of "doing good without seeking recognition" discourages the active display of benevolence. Does flaunting altruistic deeds genuinely result in negative evaluations from others? This study focuses on the concept of conspicuous altruism, that is, publicly displayed altruism, and examines the perception gap between the altruist and bystander, hypothesizing that helpers would underestimate bystanders' evaluations of conspicuous altruistic behavior.
We conducted seven experiments to examine the prediction bias within conspicuous altruism and delve into its underlying mechanisms. In Study 1a (N = 199), Study 1b (N = 144), and Study 1c (N = 400), we presented screenshots of conspicuous altruistic content from social media networks to preliminarily examine whether helpers underestimate bystanders' evaluations of their actions. In Study 2 (N = 140), we utilized microblogs and tangible mementos as vehicles for conspicuous altruism to retest the main effect. Study 3 (N = 140) involved simulated volunteer activities, requiring helpers to engage in actual acts of kindness while bystanders observed altruistic content, once again investigating the prediction bias. In Study 4a (N = 140) and Study 4b (N = 199), we explored the mediating role of perceived altruistic motives and the motive to flaunt, using social media posts and verbal self-promotion as forms of conspicuous altruism. Our findings revealed that, compared to helpers' predictions, bystanders perceived stronger altruistic motives behind conspicuous altruistic behavior, while the mediating role of flaunting motives was not significant.
This research unveils the prediction bias associated with conspicuous altruism, where helpers tend to underestimate bystanders' evaluations of their actions, and explores the underlying psychological mechanisms. These findings contribute to a deeper understanding of conspicuous altruistic behavior and its societal evaluations, providing a basis for encouraging helpers to openly address their impression management motives, actively promote altruistic actions, and thereby enhance the culture of altruism at the societal level.

Key words: conspicuous altruism, prediction bias, impression management, prosocial behavior