Acute stress has been linked with prosocial behavior, yet it is entirely unexplored how different types of stressors may affect individuals' willingness to help: This is particularly relevant while people is experiencing multiple sources of stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here we explore whether different types of stress influence peoples' giving behavior and the moderating role of emotional intelligence (EI). Undergraduate students were exposed to experimentally induced social, cognitive, or emotional stress and were asked to self-report on their willingness to help and donate to a charity raising funds for COVID-19 and flu patients. Results showed that when compared to a control condition, after being exposed to a social stress, participants were more willing to help a person in need. Our results also provide evidence that, after experiencing a social stress, participants with high (vs low) trait EI were more willing to help, and, as a result, donated more. Findings indicate that moderate levels of distress are associated with increased donations. Interestingly, when stress is not too threatening, high EI can regulate it and promote prosocial behaviors.

Stress and Emotional Intelligence Shape Giving Behavior: Are There Different Effects of Social, Cognitive, and Emotional Stress?

Hovnanyan, Ani;Mastromatteo, Libera Ylenia;Rubaltelli, Enrico;Scrimin, Sara
2022

Abstract

Acute stress has been linked with prosocial behavior, yet it is entirely unexplored how different types of stressors may affect individuals' willingness to help: This is particularly relevant while people is experiencing multiple sources of stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here we explore whether different types of stress influence peoples' giving behavior and the moderating role of emotional intelligence (EI). Undergraduate students were exposed to experimentally induced social, cognitive, or emotional stress and were asked to self-report on their willingness to help and donate to a charity raising funds for COVID-19 and flu patients. Results showed that when compared to a control condition, after being exposed to a social stress, participants were more willing to help a person in need. Our results also provide evidence that, after experiencing a social stress, participants with high (vs low) trait EI were more willing to help, and, as a result, donated more. Findings indicate that moderate levels of distress are associated with increased donations. Interestingly, when stress is not too threatening, high EI can regulate it and promote prosocial behaviors.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3451996
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