The Impact of Financial Deprivation State on Prosocial Behaviour: Comparing the Roles of Face-Saving Consciousness versus Status/Success-Gaining Intention
Study 1 provides evidence for the positive association between financial deprivation and prosocial behaviour using Mann-Whitney U analysis (H1). This study also tests the mediation role of status-gaining intention (H2a) in the observed effect following the three-step method. The indicator of status-gaining intention is need for status. Findings rejected H2a. In Study 2, we aimed to test whether the increase in prosocial behaviour among financially deprived (versus privileged) individuals can be carried over by their need for success (H2a) or their consciousness of Face-saving (H2b). Willingness to help and total number of clicks were two dependent variables showing one's prosocial tendency. Additionally, the mediation of emotion was also tested. Including trait anxiety about money and month-spending as covariates and using the bootstrapping technique (Hayes, 2013; Model4) with 5000 bootstrapped samples, results provided robust support for the prediction that financial deprivation promoted prosocial behavior (H1) and provided evidence for our theoretical account that the relationship between financial deprivation and prosocial behavior was explained by individuals’ Face-saving consciousness. Findings also revealed that emotion cannot explain the overall effects of financial deprivation on prosocial behaviour. In addition, we also measured another possible mediator (e.g., self-improvement motivation) in this study, and results rejected the possibility. In Study 3, we aimed to introduce a social contextual factor (public versus private) and address an important question that whether financial deprivation can more likely lead to an individual’s prosocial behavior in public (versus private) context (H3). Total number of clicks was the dependent variable. A 2(financial state: deprivation versus privilege) × 2 (context: public versus private) ANCOVA revealed thata significant interaction between financial state and context. In a public context, participants financially deprived clicked more than their financially privileged counterparts. However, in a private context, participants financially deprived did not differ from those in privilege condition in total number of clicks. The results supported the H3.