It's the thought that counts over time: The interplay of intent, outcome, stewardship, and legacy motivations in intergenerational reciprocity

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Sometimes the well-intended actions of prior generations result in undesirable outcomes to subsequent generations. Our research highlights the role of making the intention of past generations transparent in intergenerational resource allocations. We demonstrate that even in the presence of undesirable outcomes, people use previous generations' intentions to guide their own decisions for allocating resources to future generations. Furthermore, we show that making the good intention of past generations transparent in intergenerational resource allocations enacts feelings of stewardship, which in turn promotes generosity to future others. Finally, we identify an intervention – the induction of legacy motivations – that can prevent a pattern of selfish intentions from being reciprocated forward in time to future generations.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bang, HM; Zhou Koval, C; Wade-Benzoni, KA

Published Date

  • November 1, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 73 /

Start / End Page

  • 197 - 210

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1096-0465

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1031

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jesp.2017.07.006

Citation Source

  • Scopus