“Pieces of the Puzzle”: The Effect of Altruistic Motivation on Motor Skills Productivity

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Florida Southern College
Altruistic motivation is the driving force behind charities, volunteerism, and random acts of kindness; it is the motivation to give a resource (eg., time, money) without the anticipation of personal gain. The purpose of this study is to quantitatively show the effect of awareness and altruistic motivation on behavior through assigning philanthropic significance to a mundane task. The participants made bracelets that were presented as either increasing awareness for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or having no external purpose. In the altruistic motivation condition, the task was given a purpose by highlighting its goal to raise funds for a charity supporting autism awareness. Participants in the altruistic motivation condition made a slightly greater number of bracelets than those in the control condition. Additionally, a survey measured the participants’ compassion toward humanity. The participants with high levels of compassion in the altruism condition completed the greatest number of bracelets. Participants in the altruistic motivation condition best performed the task of making bracelets, showing the impact of altruism on a controlled activity. This research shows that inspiring empathy and giving an external purpose to a task can increase task performance.
Honors thesis Spring 2019
Altruism, Humanity, Achievement motivation, Autism