Advertisement

Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 418–431 | Cite as

Attributing autonomous versus introjected motivation to helpers and the recipient experience: Effects on gratitude, attitudes, and well-being

  • Netta Weinstein
  • Cody R. DeHaan
  • Richard M. Ryan
Original Paper

Abstract

Three studies examined the effects of motivation attributed to helpers on recipient reactions. Participants read and responded to scenarios depicting various helping events, in which indicators of helpers having autonomous or controlled (introjected) motivations were embedded. Results showed that recipients experienced more gratitude toward autonomous helpers than those helping for controlled motivations. Helping interactions involving more autonomous attributions were also predictive of positive attitudes toward helpers, positive affect, and felt closeness. Gratitude mediated the effects of autonomous versus controlled helping on recipient positive attitude, well-being, and closeness to helpers. Study 3 confirmed that helper autonomous motivation independently predicted gratitude and other positive reactions to receiving help even when controlling for other important attributions, namely, perceived helper empathy, cost to helper, valuing of help, and perceived similarity.

Keywords

Motivation Self-determination theory Prosocial behavior Recipients Attributions 

References

  1. Algoe, S. B., Haidt, J., & Gable, S. L. (2008). Beyond reciprocity: Gratitude and relationships in everyday life. Emotion, 8(3), 425–429.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, E. D., DePaulo, B. M., & Ansfield, M. E. (2002). The development of deception detection skill: A longitudinal study of same-sex friends. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(4), 536–545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aron, A., Aron, E. N., Tudor, M., & Nelson, G. (1991). Close relationships as including other in the self. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 241–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The Moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6), 1173–1182.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bar-Tal, D., Bar-Zohar, Y., Greenberg, M. S., & Hermon, M. (1977). Reciprocity behavior in the relationship between donor and recipient and between harm-doer and victim. Sociometry, 40, 293–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bartlett, M. Y., & DeSteno, D. (2006). Gratitude and prosocial behavior: Helping when it costs you. Psychological Science, 17(4), 319–325.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Betancourt, H. (1990). An attribution-empathy model of helping behavior: Behavioral intentions and judgments of help-giving. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 16(3), 573–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blascovich, J., & Tomaka, J. (1996). The biopsychosocial model of arousal regulation. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 28, 1–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brehm, J. W. (1966). A theory of psychological reactance. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  10. Bryk, A. S., & Raudenbush, S. W. (1992). Hierarchical linear models. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Cacioppo, J. T., Berntson, G. G., Larsen, J. T., Poehlmann, K. M., & Ito, T. A. (2000). The psychophysiology of emotion. In M. Lewis & R. J. M. Haviland-Jones (Eds.), The handbook of emotions (2nd ed., pp. 173–191). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  12. Cross, S. E., & Madson, L. (1997). Models of the self: Self-construals and gender. Psychological Bulletin, 122, 5–37.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Cross, S. E., & Morris, M. L. (2003). Getting to know you: The relational self-construal, relational cognition, and well-being. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 512–523.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. DeCharms, R. (1968). Personal causation: The internal affective determinants of behavior. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  15. Deci, E. L., La Guardia, J. G., Moller, A. C., Scheiner, M. J., & Ryan, R. M. (2006). On the benefits of giving as well as receiving autonomy support: Mutuality in close friendships. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32(3), 313–327.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). The general causality orientations scale: Self-determination in personality. Journal of Research in Personality, 19, 109–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The “what” and “why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11, 227–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dunn, J. R., & Schweitzer, M. E. (2005). Feeling and believing: The influence of emotion on trust. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88(5), 736–748.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 377–389.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Fisher, J. D., & Nadler, A. (1976). Effect of donor resources on recipient self-esteem and self-help. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 12, 139–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fisher, J. D., Nadler, A., & Whitcher-Alagna, S. (1982). Recipient reactions to aid: A conceptual review. Psychological Bulletin, 91, 27–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fisher, J. D., Nadler, A., & Whitcher-Alagna, S. (1983). Four conceptualizations of reactions to aid. In J. D. Fisher, A. Nadler, & B. M. DePaulo (Eds.), New directions in helping: Vol. 1. Recipient reactions to aid (pp. 51–84). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  23. Fisher, J. D., Rytting, M., & Heslin, R. (1976). Hands touching hands: Affective and evaluative effects of an interpersonal touch. Sociometry, 39(4), 416–421.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Gagné, M. (2003). The role of autonomy support and autonomy orientation in prosocial behavior engagement. Motivation and Emotion, 27(3), 199–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gergen, K. J. (1974). Toward a psychology of receiving help. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 4, 187–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gergen, K. J., & Gergen, M. (1974). Understanding foreign assistance through public opinion. Yearbook of world affairs (Vol. 27). London: Institute of World Affairs.Google Scholar
  27. Greenberg, M. S. (1980). A theory of indebtedness. In K. Gergen, M. S. Greenberg, & R. Willis (Eds.), Social exchange: Advances in theory and research. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  28. Greenwald, A. G. (1976). Within-subjects designs: To use or not to use? Psychological Bulletin, 83, 314–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Holmes, J. G., & Rempel, J. K. (1989). Trust in close relationships. In C. Hendrick (Ed.), Close relationships (pp. 187–220). Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  30. Horgan, T. G., & Smith, J. L. (2006). Interpersonal reasons for interpersonal perceptions: Gender-incongruent purpose goals and nonverbal judgment accuracy. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 30(3), 127–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hornstein, G. A. (1985). Intimacy in conversational style as a function of the degree of closeness between members of a dyad. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49(3), 671–681.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jackson, L. A., Lewandowski, D. A., Fleury, R. E., & Chin, P. P. (2001). Effects of affect, stereotype consistency, and valence of behavior on causal attributions. Journal of Social Psychology, 141, 31–48.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Jones, E. E., & Davis, K. E. (1965). From acts to dispositions: The attribution process in social psychology. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 219–266). Academic Press: New York.Google Scholar
  34. Jones, E. E., & McGillis, D. (1976). Correspondent inferences and the attribution cube: A comparative reappraisal. In J. H. Harvey, W. Ickes, & R. F. Kidd (Eds.), New directions in attribution research (Vol. 1, pp. 389–420). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  35. Kenny, D. A., Korchmaros, J. D., & Bolger, M. (2003). Lower level mediation in multilevel models. Psychological Methods, 8, 115–128.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Knee, C. R., Patrick, H., Vietor, N. A., Nanayakkara, A., & Neighbors, C. (2002). Self-determination as growth motivation in romantic relationships. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(5), 609–619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. La Guardia, J. G., Ryan, R. M., Couchman, C. E., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Within-person variation in security of attachment: A self-determination theory perspective on attachment, need fulfillment, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 367–384.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Lane, J., & Anderson, N. (1976). Integration of intention and outcome in moral judgment. Memory and Cognition, 4(1), 1–5.Google Scholar
  39. Lazarus, R. S., & Lazarus, B. N. (1994). Passion and reason: Making sense of our emotions. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Lerner, M. J., & Lichtman, R. R. (1968). Effects of perceived norms on attitudes and altruistic behavior toward a dependent other. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9, 226–232.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. MacIntyre, A. (1981). After virtue (2nd ed.). London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  42. McAuley, E., Duncan, E. T., & Tammen, V. V. (1989). Psychometric properties of the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory in a competitive sport setting: A confirmatory factor analysis. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 60, 48–58.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., & Tsang, J. (2002). The grateful disposition: A conceptual and empirical topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 112–127.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. McCullough, M. E., Kilpatrick, S. D., Emmons, R. A., & Larson, D. B. (2001). Is gratitude a moral affect? Psychological Bulletin, 127(2), 249–266.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. McCullough, M. E., Kimeldorf, M. B., & Cohen, A. D. (2008). An Adaptation for altruism? The social causes, social effects and social evolution of gratitude. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17(4), 281–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mehrabian, A. (1996). Manual for the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES). Monterey, CA: Author.Google Scholar
  47. Murray, S. L., & Holmes, J. G. (1993). Seeing virtues in faults: Negativity and the transformation of interpersonal narratives in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65(4), 707–722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Murray, S. L., Holmes, J. G., Bellavia, G., Griffin, D. W., & Dolderman, D. (2002). Kindred spirits? The Benefits of egocentrism in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82(4), 563–581.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Nadler, A., & Fisher, J. D. (1986). The role of threat to self-esteem and perceived control in recipient reaction to help: Theory development and empirical validation. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (pp. 81–121). Orlando, FL: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  50. Nadler, A., & Halabi, S. (2006). Intergroup Helping as Status Relations: Effects of Status Stability, Identification, and Type of Help on Receptivity to High Status Groups Help. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 97–110.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Nadler, A., & Liviatan, I. (2006). Intergroup Reconciliation: Effects of adversary’s expressions of empathy, responsibility, and recipients’ trust. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32(4), 459–470.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Nielson, C. (1998). An empirical examination of the role of “closeness” in industrial buyer-seller relationships. European Journal of Marketing, 32(5–6), 441–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Ortony, A., Clore, G. L., & Collins, A. (1988). The cognitive structure of emotions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Otake, K., Shimai, S., Tanaka-Matsumi, J., Otsui, K., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2006). Happy people become happier through kindness: A counting kindnesses intervention. Journal of Happiness Studies, 7, 361–375.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Overwalle, F. V., Mervielde, I., & De Schuyter, J. (1995). Structural modeling of the relationships between attributional dimensions, emotions and performance of college freshmen. Cognition & Emotion, 9(1), 59–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Patrick, H., Knee, C., Canevello, A., & Lonsbary, C. (2007). The role of need fulfillment in relationship functioning and well-being: A self-determination theory perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(3), 434–457.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Peterson, L., & Gelfand, D. (1984). Causal attributions of helping as a function of age and incentives. Child Development, 55(2), 504–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Quigley, B., Gaes, G. G., & Tedeschi, J. T. (1989). Does asking make a difference? Effects of initiator, possible gain, and risk on attributed altruism. Journal of Social Psychology, 129(2), 259–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Rosen, B. (1971). Evaluation of help by a potential recipient. Psychonomic Science, 23, 269–271.Google Scholar
  60. Ryan, R. M. (1982). Control and information in the intrapersonal sphere: An extension of cognitive evaluation theory. Journal Personality and Social Psychology, 43, 450–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Ryan, R. M., & Connell, J. P. (1989). Perceived of locus of causality and internalization. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 749–761.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. Ryan, R., & Deci, E. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68–78.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. Schwartz, S. H., & Bilsky, W. (1990). Toward a theory of the universal content and structure of values: Extensions and cross-cultural replications. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58(5), 878–891.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Sobel, M. E. (1982). Asymptotic intervals for indirect effects in structural equation models. In S. Leinhart (Ed.), Sociological methodology (pp. 290–312). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  65. Swap, W. (1991). When prosocial behavior becomes altruistic: An attributional analysis. Current Psychology, 10(1), 49–64. Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Tanguma, J. (1999). Analyzing repeated measures designs using univariate and multivariate methods: A primer. In B. Thompson (Ed.), Advances in social science methodology (Vol. 5, pp. 233–250). Stanford, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  67. Tesser, A., Gatewood, R., & Driver, M. (1968). Some determinants of gratitude. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9(3), 233–236.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. Thomas, G., & Batson, C. (1981). Effect of helping under normative pressure on self-perceived altruism. Social Psychology Quarterly, 44(2), 127–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Tsang, J. (2006). The effects of helper intention on gratitude and indebtedness. Motivation and Emotion, 30(3), 199–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Walker, L. J., & Pitts, R. C. (1998). Naturalistic conceptions of moral maturity. Developmental Psychology, 34(3), 403–419.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. Watkins, P., Scheer, J., Ovnicek, M., & Kolts, R. (2006). The debt of gratitude: Dissociating gratitude and indebtedness. Cognition & Emotion, 20(2), 217–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063–1070.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  73. Weiner, B. (1985). An attributional theory of achievement motivation and emotion. Psychological Review, 92(4), 548–573.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. Weinstein, N., Hodgins, H. S., & Ryan, R. M. (2010). Autonomy and nondefense in dyads: The effect of primed motivation on interaction quality and joint creative performance (manuscript under review).Google Scholar
  75. Weinstein, N., & Ryan, R. M. (2010). When helping helps: An examination of motivational constructs underlying prosocial behavior and their influence on well-being for the helper and recipient. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(2), 222–224.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  76. Wild, T. C., Enzle, M. E., Nix, G., & Deci, E. L. (1997). Perceiving others as intrinsically or extrinsically motivated: Effects on expectancy formation and task engagement. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 837–848.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Wood, A. M., Joseph, S., & Maltby, J. (2008). Gratitude uniquely predicts satisfaction with life: Incremental validity above the domains and facets of the five factor model. Personality and Individual Differences, 45(1), 49–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Netta Weinstein
    • 1
  • Cody R. DeHaan
    • 2
  • Richard M. Ryan
    • 2
  1. 1.University of EssexEssexUK
  2. 2.University of RochesterRochesterUSA

Personalised recommendations