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Buying Kindness: Effect Of An Extrinsic Incentive For Helping On Perceived Altruism

C. Batson, J. S. Coke, M. L. Jasnoski, Michael Hanson
Published 1978 · Psychology

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Two experiments were conducted to determine whether an extrinsic incentive would undermine intrinsic, altruistic motivation for helping. In Experiment 1 male undergraduates agreed to help an experimenter code data. Pavment for coding was not mentioned (no-payment), was mentioned prior to agreement to help (paynent-prior), or was mentioned after agreement to help (payment-after). As predicted from Nisbett and Valins' overly sufficient justification hypothesis, subjects in the payment-prior condition rated themselves as less altruistic relative to a comparison other who did not help (a confederate) than did subjects in the no-payment condition. Subjects in the payment-after condition and in the no-request control group responded similarly to those in the no-payment condition. Experiment 2 provided a conceptual replication in a field setting of the payment-prior and no-payment conditions of Experiment 1. Results again indicated that prior payment undermined intrinsic, altruistic motivation for helping.
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