Personality and altruism in daily life

Ryo Oda, Wataru Machii, Shinpei Takagi, Yuta Kato, Mia Takeda, Toko Kiyonari, Yasuyuki Fukukawa, Kai Hiraishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Personality may be among the factors contributing to individual differences in altruism. Given that explanations of altruistic behavior differ according to the relationship between actors and recipients, the personality traits contributing to altruist behavior may differ according to the relationship between the parties involved. However, few studies on the effect of personality on altruism have examined the relationship between donor and recipient, and no study has addressed altruistic behavior in daily life. We employed the Self-Report Altruism Scale Distinguished by the Recipient, which was newly developed to evaluate altruism among Japanese undergraduates, to investigate the relationship between the Big-Five personality traits and the frequency of altruistic behaviors toward various recipients (family members, friends or acquaintances, and strangers) in daily life. With the exception of extraversion, which commonly contributed to altruistic behavior toward all three types of recipients, the particular traits that contributed to altruism differed according to recipient. Conscientiousness contributed to altruism only toward family members, agreeableness contributed to altruism only toward friends/acquaintances, and openness contributed to altruism only toward strangers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-209
Number of pages4
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Altruism
  • Big Five
  • Personality
  • Self-Report Altruism Scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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