Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

January 2005


Published in Personality and Individual Differences 38 (2005), pp. 1293-1305. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2004.08.012 © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.
"Available online at"


Social psychology and personality theorists have proposed that our understanding of prosocial behavior will be enhanced by examining the interplay of traits and motives. The present study was designed to test several pathways by which agreeableness, extraversion, and prosocial value motivation to volunteer influence volunteerism. A sample of 796 college students completed measures of the Big Five traits, prosocial value motivation to volunteer, and volunteering. Results of path analyses showed that prosocial value motivation to volunteer partially mediated the relations between agreeableness and extraversion, and volunteering. Furthermore, as agreeableness decreased, extraversion was more strongly related to prosocial value motivation to volunteer. In contrast, there was no support for the pathway in which extraversion and prosocial value motivation to volunteer jointly affect volunteering. Discussion focuses on the utility of examining the links among traits and motives in predicting volunteering.