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Department of Marketing's Lecture


Time:  14:00, 12 June, 2017

Place: Room 1008, Mingde Business Building

Topic: Donate to Be a Hero: Social Power Facilitates Prosocial Donation

Speaker: Zheshuai Yang

A British politician Lord Acton has a famous quotation that “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Consistent with this saying, power has been shown to lead to immoral behaviors in various social contexts. We hypothesized that when facing an opportunity to do good things, powerful people may, in fact, engage in more prosocial behaviors as compared to the powerless people. In particular, we predicted that a high level of experienced power facilitates donation behavior when donation is framed as an altruistic action that benefits others. Under such a situation, powerful people believe that they are capable of making bigger impacts on recipients, which consequently brings them more emotional rewards and makes the powerful think positively about themselves. In various donation contexts that involve either real or hypothetical donations, powerful people consistently show a greater tendency to donate for altruistic appeals than powerless people do. This effect dissipates when a donation action makes small impacts on recipients, and even reverses when donors are offered some incentives.

Zheshuai Yang, PhD Candidate in Markerting from National University of Singapore, graduated from Renmin University of China with B.E. in Marketing.