Volunteerism in the last year as a moderator between empathy and altruistic social value orientation: an exploratory study
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Institute of Psychology, The Maria Grzegorzewska University, Warsaw, Poland
Submission date: 2021-01-12
Final revision date: 2021-06-15
Acceptance date: 2021-06-17
Online publication date: 2021-08-03
Publication date: 2022-03-01
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2022;10(1):10–20
Volunteerism is a sustained prosocial activity, and young adults are one of the most important targets for organizations recruiting volunteers. Empathy and altruistic social value orientation measured by a decomposed game are dispositional traits that might foster engagement in volunteerism.

Material and methods:
Using a self-report online-based questionnaire study on two groups of young adults (aged 18-35, N = 224 non-volunteers and N = 178 volunteers in the last year) the relationship between empathy and altruistic social value orientation in both of these groups was explored.

The results showed that volunteers scored significantly higher on empathy and altruistic social value orientation than non-volunteers. In non-volunteers, empathy is positively linked to altruistic social value orientation, whereas for volunteers the relationship is inversed.

The results provide evidence that volunteers, when high on empathy, might not necessarily be ready to share financial resources with others, as operationalized by a decomposed game.

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