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Economic evaluation: The effect of money and economics on attitudes about volunteering

  • Pfeffer, Jeffrey
  • DeVoe, Sanford E.
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    Recent research shows that hourly payment affects decisions about time use in ways that disfavor uncompensated activities such as volunteering. This paper extends that argument by showing that the activation of money and economics as aspects of a person's self-concept is one mechanism possibly producing these results. Study 1 showed that employed adults explicitly primed to think about their own time in terms of money were less willing to volunteer compared to those primed to think about another person's time in terms of money, illustrating the importance of the self-concept in the economic evaluation of time. Mediation analyses showed that participants' view of themselves as economic evaluators fully accounted for both the effect of the manipulation and variation in prior experience with hourly payment on willingness to volunteer. Study 2 showed the undergraduates supraliminally primed with either money or economic concepts were less willing to volunteer their time. The findings suggest that economic evaluation is one causal mechanism affecting attitudes about time use.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V8H-4TDC08X-9/2/d8bda6fdb0de53152c2427449a5f8f0e
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 500-508

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:30:y:2009:i:3:p:500-508
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

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    1. Kay, Aaron C. & Wheeler, S. Christian & Bargh, John A. & Ross, Lee, 2004. "Material priming: The influence of mundane physical objects on situational construal and competitive behavioral choice," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 83-96, September.
    2. Leclerc, France & Schmitt, Bernd H & Dube, Laurette, 1995. " Waiting Time and Decision Making: Is Time like Money?," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 110-19, June.
    3. Robert H. Frank & Thomas Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1993. "Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 159-171, Spring.
    4. John R. Carter & Michael D. Irons, 1991. "Are Economists Different, and If So, Why?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 171-177, Spring.
    5. Small, Deborah A. & Loewenstein, George & Slovic, Paul, 2007. "Sympathy and callousness: The impact of deliberative thought on donations to identifiable and statistical victims," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 143-153, March.
    6. DeVoe, Sanford E. & Pfeffer, Jeffrey, 2007. "When time is money: The effect of hourly payment on the evaluation of time," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 1-13, September.
    7. Lea, Stephen E.G. & Webley, Paul, 2005. "In search of the economic self," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 585-604, October.
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