Elevation and mentoring: An experimental assessment of causal relations

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Elevation and mentoring: An experimental assessment of causal relations

Mentoring is a prosocial behavior in which an experienced person guides someone with less experience. Elevation refers to the responses elicited when a person witnesses others upholding the highest standards of moral virtue. Three experimental studies bring these two domains together. For all three studies participants were randomly assigned to either read a story of someone exhibiting moral excellence or to a control condition. Participants in the elevation condition reported feeling more elevated more positive attitudes toward mentoring less negative attitudes toward mentoring greater intentions to become a mentor (Study 1); an increased proclivity to gather information about becoming a mentor (Study 2a); and an increased tendency to engage in mentoring directly via submitting advice to students (Study 2b). In their totality the current studies link another prosocial outcome with elevation and demonstrate a condition under which individuals are more likely to be motivated to become a mentor.

The Journal of Positive Psychology , 2014 Vol. 9, No. 5, 402 – 413

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