University of Twente Student Theses


Control Yourself! : how are Trait and State Self-Control related to Prosociality in Young Adults?

Bagala, S. (2021) Control Yourself! : how are Trait and State Self-Control related to Prosociality in Young Adults?

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Abstract:Background. Prosociality in students is known to bring enormous benefits for both the individual and the larger community. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic the prosociality of young adults, including students, is asked. Self-control has been found to be positively associated with prosociality on a trait level. Yet, on a state level not much is known about their relationship. Objective. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between state self-control and state prosociality. Before, it was assessed if trait and state measurements were associated. Eventually, it was examined if trait or state self-control is the stronger predictor for state prosociality. Method. An experience sampling study over 15 days was conducted. An experience sampling study consisting of 35 participants with German (87.9%) or Dutch (9.1%) with an age range of 18 to 26 over 15 days was conducted. The Brief Self-Control Scale and the Prosocialness Scale for Adults were used to measure trait constructs. For the state self-control, state items based on ego depletion and previous literature are used. For state prosociality, items on the basis of broader definitions of prosociality and selfishness (as opposite to prosociality) were created. Linear mixed model analyses were executed to assess both between-person and within-person effects of self-control and prosociality. Results. A correlation between trait measurements and their corresponding state measurement was found. Positive associations were found between state self-control and state prosociality on both within-person and between-person levels, whereas the association was higher for the between-person effect. Conclusion. This study is the first to investigate the association between state self-control and state prosociality. Next to finding that both state measurements are related and that state prosociality is more dependent on having more self-control in general (between-person) than being self-controlled at a given moment (within-person), the study revealed that state measurements fluctuated over the course of the study. This fluctuation seems to be influenced by external factors rather than by daytime. However, due to the ongoing pandemic both self-control and prosociality may be affected. Therefore, it is recommended to repeat the study after the pandemic. This could also provide insight that both self-control and prosociality of young adults has been affected by the pandemic and accompanying social distancing measures.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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