Skip to main content

Please enter a keyword and click the arrow to search the site

Salience of interpersonal impact determines whether cognitive depletion makes people more self-serving or other-regarding

Journal

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

Subject

Organisational Behaviour

Authors / Editors

Pitesa M;Thau S;Pillutla M

Biographies

Publication Year

2013

Abstract

The current research reconciles two contradicting sets of findings on the role of cognitive control in socially desirable behaviors. One set of findings suggests that people are tempted by self-serving impulses and have to rely on cognitive control overriding such impulses to act in socially desirable ways. Another set of findings suggests people are guided by other-regarding impulses and cognitive control is not necessary to motivate socially desirable behaviors. We theorize that the dominant impulse is to behave in a socially desirable manner when the interpersonal impact of an action is salient, and that the dominant impulse is to behave in a self-serving manner when the interpersonal impact of an action is not salient. Studies 1–3 found that impairing participants’ cognitive control led to less socially desirable behavior when interpersonal impact was not salient, but more socially desirable behavior when interpersonal impact was salient. Study 4 demonstrates that behaving in a socially desirable manner causes cognitive control impairment when interpersonal impact is not salient. But, when interpersonal impact is salient, behaving in a self-serving manner impairs cognitive control. We discuss the implications of our findings for understanding and managing socially desirable behaviors.

Keywords

Socially desirable behavior; Cognitive control; Impulses; Cheating; Resource distributions

Available on ECCH

No


Select up to 4 programmes to compare

Select one more to compare
×
subscribe_image_desktop 5949B9BFE33243D782D1C7A17E3345D0

Sign up to receive our latest news and business thinking direct to your inbox

×

Sign up to receive our latest course information and business thinking

Leave your details above if you would like to receive emails containing the latest thought leadership, invitations to events and news about courses that could enhance your career. If you would prefer not to receive our emails, you can still access the case study by clicking the button below. You can opt-out of receiving our emails at any time by visiting: https://london.edu/my-profile-preferences or by unsubscribing through the link provided in our emails. View our Privacy Policy for more information on your rights.