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A Large Scale Test of the Effect of Social Class on Prosocial Behavior.

Korndörfer M, Egloff B, Schmukle SC - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: However, research outside the field of psychology has mainly found evidence for positive or u-shaped relations.Across eight studies with large and representative international samples, we predominantly found positive effects of social class on prosociality: Higher class individuals were more likely to make a charitable donation and contribute a higher percentage of their family income to charity (32,090 ≥ N ≥ 3,957; Studies 1-3), were more likely to volunteer (37,136 ≥N ≥ 3,964; Studies 4-6), were more helpful (N = 3,902; Study 7), and were more trusting and trustworthy in an economic game when interacting with a stranger (N = 1,421; Study 8) than lower social class individuals.Although the effects of social class varied somewhat across the kinds of prosocial behavior, countries, and measures of social class, under no condition did we find the negative effect that would have been expected on the basis of previous results reported in the psychological literature.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Does being from a higher social class lead a person to engage in more or less prosocial behavior? Psychological research has recently provided support for a negative effect of social class on prosocial behavior. However, research outside the field of psychology has mainly found evidence for positive or u-shaped relations. In the present research, we therefore thoroughly examined the effect of social class on prosocial behavior. Moreover, we analyzed whether this effect was moderated by the kind of observed prosocial behavior, the observed country, and the measure of social class. Across eight studies with large and representative international samples, we predominantly found positive effects of social class on prosociality: Higher class individuals were more likely to make a charitable donation and contribute a higher percentage of their family income to charity (32,090 ≥ N ≥ 3,957; Studies 1-3), were more likely to volunteer (37,136 ≥N ≥ 3,964; Studies 4-6), were more helpful (N = 3,902; Study 7), and were more trusting and trustworthy in an economic game when interacting with a stranger (N = 1,421; Study 8) than lower social class individuals. Although the effects of social class varied somewhat across the kinds of prosocial behavior, countries, and measures of social class, under no condition did we find the negative effect that would have been expected on the basis of previous results reported in the psychological literature. Possible explanations for this divergence and implications are discussed.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The positive effect of social class on the probability of donating in the American General Social Survey (Study 3).Panel A shows the proportion of donors per decile of objective social class. Panel B uses local likelihood fitting (Locfit) to adjust a curve to the raw data and illustrates the probability of donating by standardized objective social class (N = 3,975 persons). Panel C (N = 3,957 persons) shows the proportion of donors per category of subjective social class. Panel D illustrates the predicted values for the probability of donating determined via logistic regression. It distinguishes between a curve for subjective social class and a curve for objective social class.
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pone.0133193.g003: The positive effect of social class on the probability of donating in the American General Social Survey (Study 3).Panel A shows the proportion of donors per decile of objective social class. Panel B uses local likelihood fitting (Locfit) to adjust a curve to the raw data and illustrates the probability of donating by standardized objective social class (N = 3,975 persons). Panel C (N = 3,957 persons) shows the proportion of donors per category of subjective social class. Panel D illustrates the predicted values for the probability of donating determined via logistic regression. It distinguishes between a curve for subjective social class and a curve for objective social class.

Mentions: The proportion of donors increased with elevated deciles of objective social class (Fig 3A) and with higher categories of subjective social class (Fig 3C). Because subjective social class was rated with only four categories, we omitted the fitting of locally weighted smoothing curves for this variable. However, in the objective social class sample, we fit the data with a Locfit curve that also revealed a higher probability of making charitable donations with increasing objective social class (Fig 3B). Yet, the slope weakened and seemed to be close to among the higher social class individuals (which was most likely caused by a ceiling effect).


A Large Scale Test of the Effect of Social Class on Prosocial Behavior.

Korndörfer M, Egloff B, Schmukle SC - PLoS ONE (2015)

The positive effect of social class on the probability of donating in the American General Social Survey (Study 3).Panel A shows the proportion of donors per decile of objective social class. Panel B uses local likelihood fitting (Locfit) to adjust a curve to the raw data and illustrates the probability of donating by standardized objective social class (N = 3,975 persons). Panel C (N = 3,957 persons) shows the proportion of donors per category of subjective social class. Panel D illustrates the predicted values for the probability of donating determined via logistic regression. It distinguishes between a curve for subjective social class and a curve for objective social class.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4507988&req=5

pone.0133193.g003: The positive effect of social class on the probability of donating in the American General Social Survey (Study 3).Panel A shows the proportion of donors per decile of objective social class. Panel B uses local likelihood fitting (Locfit) to adjust a curve to the raw data and illustrates the probability of donating by standardized objective social class (N = 3,975 persons). Panel C (N = 3,957 persons) shows the proportion of donors per category of subjective social class. Panel D illustrates the predicted values for the probability of donating determined via logistic regression. It distinguishes between a curve for subjective social class and a curve for objective social class.
Mentions: The proportion of donors increased with elevated deciles of objective social class (Fig 3A) and with higher categories of subjective social class (Fig 3C). Because subjective social class was rated with only four categories, we omitted the fitting of locally weighted smoothing curves for this variable. However, in the objective social class sample, we fit the data with a Locfit curve that also revealed a higher probability of making charitable donations with increasing objective social class (Fig 3B). Yet, the slope weakened and seemed to be close to among the higher social class individuals (which was most likely caused by a ceiling effect).

Bottom Line: However, research outside the field of psychology has mainly found evidence for positive or u-shaped relations.Across eight studies with large and representative international samples, we predominantly found positive effects of social class on prosociality: Higher class individuals were more likely to make a charitable donation and contribute a higher percentage of their family income to charity (32,090 ≥ N ≥ 3,957; Studies 1-3), were more likely to volunteer (37,136 ≥N ≥ 3,964; Studies 4-6), were more helpful (N = 3,902; Study 7), and were more trusting and trustworthy in an economic game when interacting with a stranger (N = 1,421; Study 8) than lower social class individuals.Although the effects of social class varied somewhat across the kinds of prosocial behavior, countries, and measures of social class, under no condition did we find the negative effect that would have been expected on the basis of previous results reported in the psychological literature.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Does being from a higher social class lead a person to engage in more or less prosocial behavior? Psychological research has recently provided support for a negative effect of social class on prosocial behavior. However, research outside the field of psychology has mainly found evidence for positive or u-shaped relations. In the present research, we therefore thoroughly examined the effect of social class on prosocial behavior. Moreover, we analyzed whether this effect was moderated by the kind of observed prosocial behavior, the observed country, and the measure of social class. Across eight studies with large and representative international samples, we predominantly found positive effects of social class on prosociality: Higher class individuals were more likely to make a charitable donation and contribute a higher percentage of their family income to charity (32,090 ≥ N ≥ 3,957; Studies 1-3), were more likely to volunteer (37,136 ≥N ≥ 3,964; Studies 4-6), were more helpful (N = 3,902; Study 7), and were more trusting and trustworthy in an economic game when interacting with a stranger (N = 1,421; Study 8) than lower social class individuals. Although the effects of social class varied somewhat across the kinds of prosocial behavior, countries, and measures of social class, under no condition did we find the negative effect that would have been expected on the basis of previous results reported in the psychological literature. Possible explanations for this divergence and implications are discussed.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus