Current Psychology

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 931–938 | Cite as

The challenge of making this world a better place: analyzing the chivalrous quality of the quixoteism motive

  • Sergio Villar
  • Luis OcejaEmail author
  • Sergio Salgado
  • Eric Stocks
  • Pilar Carrera


Quixoteism is a motive that leads people to undertake challenging actions as an instrumental goal toward an ultimate goal of improving the welfare of the world. The present research tests whether the activation of a Quixoteism motive increases a person’s willingness to perform extraordinary helping behaviors. In Study 1 (N = 66), the centrality of values linked to Quixoteism (i.e., the Transcendent-Change Constellation, TCC) predicted actual commitment to help, but only when this behavior was challenging. In Study 2 (N = 175), the centrality of TCC measured one month earlier was associated with a preference for challenging helping behaviors, but only when the ultimate goal of Quixoteism was previously primed (i.e., awareness of worldwide problems). This is the first work to focus on analyzing the association between Quixoteism and behaviors that involve a challenging helping (chivalrous) action.


Challenge Motives Prosocial behavior Quixoteism Transcendental change 



We are grateful to the American Journal Experts for their assistance with the preparation of the English version.


This research has received financial support from a Spanish Education Ministry grant (PSI2014–53321-P) awarded to the second and third authors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Psicología SocialUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Administración y EconomíaUniversidad de La FronteraTemucoChile
  3. 3.Department of Psychology and CounselingUniversity of Tyler at TexasTylerUSA

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