Shame leads to devaluation of the social self, and thus to a desire to improve self-esteem. Money, which is related to the notion of one's ability, may help people demonstrate competence and gain self-esteem and respect from others. Based on the perspectives of feelings-as-information and threatened ego, we tested the hypothesis that a sense of shame heightens the desire for money, prompting self-interested behaviors as reflected by monetary donations and social value orientation. The results showed that subjects in the shame condition donated less money (Experiment 1) and exhibited more self-interested choices in the modified decomposed game (Experiment 2). The desire for money as reflected in overestimated coin sizes mediated the effect of shame on self-interested behavior. Our findings suggest that shame elicits the desire to acquire money to amend the threatened social self and improve self-esteem; however, it may induce a self-interested inclination that could harm social relationships.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Judgment and Decision Making|
|Publication status||Published - 2012 Jan 1|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Decision Sciences(all)
- Applied Psychology
- Economics and Econometrics