'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
Date Written: December 05, 2012
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
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