Send to

Choose Destination
J Pers Soc Psychol. 2001 Jul;81(1):5-16.

The norm of self-interest and its effects on social action.

Author information

Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 27599-3490, USA.


Four studies investigated whether people feel inhibited from engaging in social action incongruent with their apparent self-interest. Participants in Study 1 predicted that they would be evaluated negatively were they to take action on behalf of a cause in which they had no stake or in which they had a stake but held stake-incongruent attitudes. Participants in Study 2 reported both surprise and anger when a target person took action on behalf of a cause in which he or she had no stake or in which he or she held stake-incongruent attitudes. In Study 3, individuals felt more comfortable engaging in social action and expected others to respond more favorably toward their actions if the issue was described as more relevant to their own sex than to the opposite sex. In Study 4, the authors found that providing nonvested individuals with psychological standing rendered them as likely as vested individuals to undertake social action. The authors discuss the implications of these results for the relationship between vested interest, social action, and attitude-behavior consistency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Psychological Association
Loading ...
Support Center