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Anger a better motivator for volunteers than sympathy?

Posted on May 09 2014 | IANS

London, May 8 : Angry people do not always raise a ruckus; they may also bring about positive changes to society with a new study showing that anger may be more effective at motivating people to volunteer than other motives.

"Empathic anger is probably a more extreme or intense motive than others that have been described or studied in the previous research on volunteering and prosocial behaviour," said Robert Bringle of Appalachian State University in the US.

Those scoring high on emphatic anger are also likely to work towards bringing about change rather than just engaging in charitable volunteering.

"This research focused on circumstances when empathy elicits anger," said Bringle.

Two questionnaire studies focused on the nature of those reporting empathic anger using a new scale.

In the first study that involved 132 participants, researchers found that those scoring high on empathic anger were more likely to support community projects and organisations as a way to affect change rather than charitable volunteering.

The second study, involving 152 participants, showed that those reporting high empathic anger were not aggressive people, but were concerned and altruistic individuals who rejected group-based discrimination and inequality among groups.

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