Inducing motivational harmony to increase attitudes and intentions to register as an organ donor and engage in general prosocial behavior

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Behavioral Sciences and Leadership

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Journal of Theoretical Social Psychology

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In three preregistered studies, we investigated whether positive and negative organ donation attitudes, intentions, as well as general prosocial behavioral intentions, could be influenced by inducing motivational harmony—the sense that things are going well in life. In Study 1, we examined correlations between motivational harmony, organ donation attitudes, intentions, and prosocial behavioral intentions. Study 2a represented an attempt to assess the malleability of motivational harmony using two different autobiographical recall tasks. The successful induction was utilized in Study 2b, designed to assess whether increasing motivational harmony caused changes in organ donation attitudes, intentions, and prosocial behavioral intentions. This study used a Solomon post‐group design, where participants were randomly assigned to receive the scale assessing the proposed mediator (i.e., motivational harmony) or to receive the dependent variables directly after receiving the induction. These studies focused on attitudes and intentions to register oneself as an organ donor after death. Although no direct effects on donor outcomes were identified, the motivational harmony induction task indirectly increased organ donation registration intentions through increased motivational harmony. Moreover, there was both a direct relationship of the motivational harmony induction on prosocial behavior intentions and an indirect association through increased motivational harmony. These findings have theoretical implications for the construct of motivational harmony, as well as practical applications for the promotion of organ donation and prosocial behavior.

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