Attributing autonomous versus introjected motivation to helpers and the recipient experience: Effects on gratitude, attitudes, and well-being

Netta Weinstein, Cody R. DeHaan, Richard M. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Three studies examined the effects of motivation attributed to helpers on recipient reactions. Participants read and responded to scenarios depicting various helping events, in which indicators of helpers having autonomous or controlled (introjected) motivations were embedded. Results showed that recipients experienced more gratitude toward autonomous helpers than those helping for controlled motivations. Helping interactions involving more autonomous attributions were also predictive of positive attitudes toward helpers, positive affect, and felt closeness. Gratitude mediated the effects of autonomous versus controlled helping on recipient positive attitude, well-being, and closeness to helpers. Study 3 confirmed that helper autonomous motivation independently predicted gratitude and other positive reactions to receiving help even when controlling for other important attributions, namely, perceived helper empathy, cost to helper, valuing of help, and perceived similarity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-431
Number of pages14
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Attributions
  • Motivation
  • Prosocial behavior
  • Recipients
  • Self-determination theory

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Attributing autonomous versus introjected motivation to helpers and the recipient experience: Effects on gratitude, attitudes, and well-being'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this