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Why Insisting in Being Volunteers? A Practical Case Study Exploring from Both Rational and Emotional Perspectives

Kuei-Feng Chang1, Wen-Goang Yang2, Ya-Wen Cheng3, I-Tung Shih2,*

1 Guangzhou University, Guangzhou, 510006, China
2 Chaoyang University of Technology, Taichung, 413, Taiwan
3 WuFeng University, Chiayi, 621, Taiwan

* Corresponding Author: I-Tung Shih. Email:

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2022, 24(2), 219-236.


This study explored the mechanism on how volunteers as rationalists use rationalism during their cognitive appraisal process when dealing with emotional events in their social helping behavior such as international rescue events. The authors used the triangulation method to include three studies (Study 1 is a qualitative research which explored ways of TCF leader’s inspiring their volunteer workers; Study 2 is a quantitative research on the decision-making process of volunteer individuals involving in international rescue activities; Study 3 is a quantitative research on individuals’ motivation for joining social helping behavior) for validation of Tzu Chi Foundation (TCF), which is a famous non-profit organization worldwide, to prove that volunteers as rationalists rely on the reasonable cognitive appraisal method to substantially evaluate the necessity of social helping behavior, including their emotional responses and arousals. Economic evaluation theory was used to depict volunteers as volunteers as rationalists’ way of cognitive appraisal perspective towards emotional events such as international rescue cases or when participating in activities by non-profit organizations. Accordingly, this study found that volunteers as rationalists adhere to the principles of altruism, egoism, compensation, and reciprocity as part of their cognitive appraisal when responding to emotional situations. The research findings of this study depicted the volunteers’ behavioral intention as volunteers as rationalists in responding to emotional events in the form of NPO helping behaviors and international rescue events. Social helping behaviors often rely on people’s emotional compassion and empathy at the beginning, but social helping behaviors cannot rely solely on emotional support. To create long-term support for non-profit organizations’ action plans, it is still necessary to plan rationally, turning the actions of volunteers into reasonable plans. In this way, even if the volunteers have experienced many difficulties during devotion, hindrance, and stress afterward, they can still keep in a rationalist’ mindset continuously. This paper provided directions for volunteer training for non-profit organizations.


Cite This Article

Chang, K., Yang, W., Cheng, Y., Shih, I. (2022). Why Insisting in Being Volunteers? A Practical Case Study Exploring from Both Rational and Emotional Perspectives. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 24(2), 219–236.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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