Exchange orientation (EO) and communal orientation (CO) are two fundamental relationship orientations (ROs). We argue that state RO (i.e., the relative activation of the two ROs at a specific moment) varies across situations and should be differentiated from trait ROs. In two studies, we examined how state RO affected subsequent helping behaviors and how it was influenced by a situational factor (i.e., hunger). We also examined whether trait ROs moderated the above links. An eye-tracking paradigm (Study 1) and a scenario-based paradigm (Study 2) were adopted to assess state RO. The two studies consistently found that relatively more activation of state EO over state CO reduced helping tendency toward strangers (Study 1) and acquaintances (Study 2). High trait CO amplified the effect in Study 1. Moreover, hunger heightened the relative activation of state EO over state CO in both studies, but the effect was only significant for participants with high trait EO in Study 1. The results highlight the importance to study the momentary variation of ROs and open new research directions. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
CitationLi, T., & Siu, P.-M. (2022). State relationship orientation and helping behaviors: The influence of hunger and trait relationship orientations. Current Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12144-022-03666-y
- Communal orientation
- Exchange orientation
- Relationship orientation