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Talking the talk, but not walking the walk: a comparison of self-reported and observed prosocial behavior

Awan, S; Esteve, M; Van Witteloostuijn, A; (2021) Talking the talk, but not walking the walk: a comparison of self-reported and observed prosocial behavior. Public Administration 10.1111/padm.12664. (In press).

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Abstract

The claim that Public Service Motivation (PSM) is an antecedent of prosocial behaviour has often been empirically tested and supported. However, closer inspection of this literature reveals large disparities in relating the two constructs. One reason that could explain such differences is that the relationship between PSM and prosocial behaviours has been primarily tested using self‐reported cross‐sectional, single‐rater and same‐survey data. While all of these are widely used methodological approaches in social sciences, they are also susceptible to potential biases. We conduct two comparative studies to re‐examine this relationship. Study 1 utilizes self‐reported cross‐sectional, single‐rater and same‐survey data linking PSM and prosocial behaviour, revealing a positive relationship with PSM's Compassion dimension. Study 2 involves observing actual prosocial behaviour in a real‐life setting. Then, the correlation between PSM and prosocial behaviour disappears. We conclude by discussing the possible reasons that could lead to the differences found across the two studies.

Type: Article
Title: Talking the talk, but not walking the walk: a comparison of self-reported and observed prosocial behavior
DOI: 10.1111/padm.12664
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/padm.12664
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10091269
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