Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/227280
Title: SOCIAL ALIGNMENT THEORY: EXPLORING GRATITUDE’S EFFECTS ON UNETHICAL OBEDIENCE AND THE MEDIATING ROLE OF TRUST
Authors: LOW WAN YI, MATILDA
Keywords: social alignment
gratitude
obedience
unethical
trust
Issue Date: 8-Apr-2022
Citation: LOW WAN YI, MATILDA (2022-04-08). SOCIAL ALIGNMENT THEORY: EXPLORING GRATITUDE’S EFFECTS ON UNETHICAL OBEDIENCE AND THE MEDIATING ROLE OF TRUST. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: A large proportion of the gratitude literature thus far has focused on its positive and prosocial outcomes. Recently, a relatively new theory of gratitude has been proposed: The social alignment theory. While still in its development, evidence supporting this theory has demonstrated that the social alignment effects of gratitude may also lead to neutral and even negative outcomes. The present study seeks to extend the support for this theory by experimentally investigating how gratitude may result in obedience to self-benefitting, unethical commands from one’s benefactor, and whether this relationship is mediated by trust. Using a two-study approach, gratitude and trust are manipulated separately in each study (Study 1: gratitude vs. neutral; Study 2: low-trust vs. high-trust) and their effects on unethical obedience are analysed. The results did not provide support for either hypothesis. Firstly, gratitude did not predict obedience; instead, individuals in the neutral condition demonstrated more obedience. Secondly, trust was not found to have mediated this relationship. These findings do not necessarily provide counterevidence against the social alignment theory, but they do suggest that gratitude’s social alignment effects may not be as strong as what we might expect. However, some limitations of the study are discussed, and further investigations are required to continually build up the evidence base for the social alignment theory.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/227280
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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