'Yes, We Can!': Self-construal, Perceived Ability to Make a Difference, and Socially Responsible Behavior

42 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2011 Last revised: 5 Dec 2012

See all articles by Irina Cojuharenco

Irina Cojuharenco

CATÓLICA-LISBON School of Business & Economics

Gert Cornelissen

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Department of Economics and Business

Natalia Karelaia

INSEAD - Decision Sciences

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 05, 2012

Abstract

We suggest that an individual’s self-construal — how people view themselves in terms of connectedness to versus separateness from others — affects perceived effectiveness of individual action targeted at large scale societal outcomes, and by doing so, ultimately affects socially responsible behavior. Study 1 demonstrated that increasing the prominence of the interdependent self raises perceived effectiveness of individual action to the level of perceived effectiveness of collective action. Study 2 showed that the prominence of the interdependent self relates positively to the effort exerted for a social cause. In Study 3, we showed experimentally that the perceived effectiveness of individual action mediates the effect of self-construal on financial contributions participants make for a social cause. Study 4 tested the mediation model using survey data on recycling and environmentally conscious consumption. We discuss the implications of our findings for research on socially responsible behavior.

Keywords: Self-construal, Interdependent Self, Independent Self, Socially Responsible Behavior, Perceived Effectiveness

Suggested Citation

Cojuharenco, Irina and Cornelissen, Gert and Karelaia, Natalia, 'Yes, We Can!': Self-construal, Perceived Ability to Make a Difference, and Socially Responsible Behavior (December 05, 2012). INSEAD Working Paper No. 2012/126/DS, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1959965 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1959965

Irina Cojuharenco

CATÓLICA-LISBON School of Business & Economics ( email )

Palma de Cima
Lisbon, Lisboa 1649-023
Portugal

Gert Cornelissen (Contact Author)

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain
++34 93542 27 31 (Phone)

Natalia Karelaia

INSEAD - Decision Sciences ( email )

United States

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