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Comparison Of Three Models For Predicting Altruistic Behavior.

M. Zuckerman, H. T. Reis
Published 1978 · Psychology

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This study compared three models for predicting altruistic behavior. Blood donations were examined as a function of intention (Fishbein's model), moral norms and ascription of responsibilit y (Schwartz's model), and attitudes and self-monitoring (Snyder's model). Donating behavior was shown to be predicted best as a function of intentions and attitudes (R — .49), while intentions were best described as a function of attitudes, social norms, and moral norms (R — .55). These results supported Fishbein's.model, with the qualification of adding a direct attitude-behavior link. Only qualified support was found for Schwartz's model, and no support was found for Snyder's model. Comparison of the present results with those of several prior studies suggests that the specific combination of variables that best predicts altruistic behavior depends on the particular conditions under which predictions are formed, notably the time interval separating measurement of the person's beliefs and observation of his/her behavior. As social psychology has expanded the breadth and depth of its investigation, so has the number of alternative conceptualizations used to explain the same phenomena expanded. Where once only a small amount of research and perhaps a single theory were available, now large quantities of research and multiple theories exist. While many of these different theories are elaborations or restatements of previous concepts, many are also sufficiently different to invite comparison and integration. Resolutions of this sort are one of the important tasks in advancing our knowledge and in suggesting new directions in which to proceed. This study was designed with such a purpose for one particular area: evaluating the relative utility of three models in the prediction of one form of helping behavior, namely, donating blood. Specifically, we focused on the theoretical
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