When and why does sense of power hinder self-reported helping behavior? Testing a moderated mediation model in Chinese undergraduates.

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Date: May 2021
From: Journal of Applied Social Psychology(Vol. 51, Issue 5)
Publisher: Wiley Subscription Services, Inc.
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 274 words

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Abstract :

Abstract Many studies on power and its influence on pro-social behavior have been conducted with Western samples. Little is known about whether the relevant research findings can be extended to other cultural settings. This study investigates the relationship between sense of power and self-reported helping behavior in Chinese culture. Using a sample of 388 undergraduate students, this study examines a moderated mediation model in which moral identity serves as a moderator and perspective taking serves as a mediator. The results show that sense of power is negatively associated with helping behavior, and this association is mediated by perspective taking. That is, sense of power exerts a negative effect on perspective taking, thereby decreasing people's tendency to help others. In addition, moral identity moderates the direct and indirect effect from sense of power to helping behavior. Specifically, when moral identity is low, sense of power exerts negative effects on perspective taking and helping behavior, but these effects become non-significant when moral identity is high. This study sheds new light on the understanding of sense of power by examining its profound role in influencing pro-social engagement in Eastern cultures. Our findings suggest that powerful people with lower levels of moral identity may be less willing to consider others' thoughts and feelings, and act less helping behavior. While high moral identity may buffer the negative effect of sense of power and enable powerful people to better play a role in promoting social harmony. Article Note: [Correction added on 22 March 2021, after first online publication: the funding statement has been updated in this version] Byline: Peng Sun, Hui Li, Zhen Liu, Minzhi Ren, Qingke Guo, Yu Kou

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A663086717