Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Christopher Leone

Second Advisor

Dr. Sarah Ainsworth

Third Advisor

Dr. Heather Truelove

Department Chair

Dr. Lori Lange

College Dean

Dr. George Rainbolt


Two studies explored individual difference moderators of spillover. Positive spillover occurs when one prosocial behavior leads to an increase in subsequent prosocial behavior, whereas negative spillover or moral licensing occurs when one prosocial behavior leads to a decrease in prosocial behaviors. The moderators of interest were internal motivation, external motivation, and preference for consistency. It was predicted that those who exhibit high external motivation would demonstrate negative spillover, those who exhibit internal motivation would demonstrate positive spillover, and those with high preference for consistency would demonstrate positive spillover. Although these moderation predictions were not supported, Study 1 replicated previous work demonstrating moral licensing, or negative spillover. Participants who completed an initial non-prejudiced act later donated less money to a charity supporting racial equality than participants in the neutral control condition. The results of Study 2 demonstrated positive spillover. Participants who completed an initial pro-environmental act were more likely to help a local environmental organization compared to those who completed a neutral initial task. Future research is needed to understand the cause of the differing results, including measuring potential mediators in future studies.