Date of Award

Spring 5-3-2019

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Jordan LaBouff

Second Committee Member

Thane Fremouw

Third Committee Member

Shannon McCoy

Additional Committee Members

Emily Haigh

Rebecca Schwartz-Mette


Prosocial behavior is valuable for the people it is meant to help, the people engaging in the behavior, and society in general. However, we do not always behave prosocially. Through three studies (N = 535) this work examined the possibility that resource scarcity might reduce prosocial behavior and that humility might promote prosocial behavior by both reducing the negative effect of scarcity on prosocial behavior, and by its own positive relationship with prosociality. This work further examined facets of humility that might promote prosocial behavior, such as other-orientation, and the roles of state and trait humility. Humility was associated with greater prosocial behavior across three studies, and though the other-oriented nature of the construct is at least partially responsible for this relationship, these studies suggest that other aspects of humility explain unique variance in prosocial giving. A path model that fits the data well suggests that trait humility promotes prosocial behavior by promoting state humility and other-orientation, which themselves are associated with greater degrees of prosocial giving. The effects of scarcity, and any moderating role humility might have, are somewhat unclear as the manipulations used failed to effectively manipulate feelings of resource scarcity.