Compliance with social norms is deemed one of the important drives for prosocial behavior. However, studies on the bystander effect hint at another possibility of not complying with prosocial norms due to responsibility diffusion. Additionally, little is known about how individuals' susceptibility to normative influences in prosociality varies according to personal attributes. Thus, this study tested the relationship between perceived moral-character norm (i.e., normative moral character) of general peer and prosocial behaviors and moderating roles of personal moral character and sociodemographic variables. Based on a sample of 2474 secondary-school students, we found a significant interplay of normative moral character, personal moral character, and sociodemographic backgrounds. Specifically, among female or poor students who had relatively negative moral characters, the better they evaluated their peer's moral character to be, the less they exhibited prosocial behavior. This study sheds light on a nuanced relationship between normative moral character and prosocial behavior.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The preparation of this work and the study were financially supported by Wofoo Foundation .
- Chinese adolescents
- Normative moral character
- Peer influence
- Personal moral character
- Prosocial behavior