Acts of Emptying Promote Self-focus: A Perceived Resource Deficiency Perspective, Journal of Consumer Psychology
No one likes feeling empty. When people feel empty they seek replenishment, which usually takes the form of increased self-focused behaviors that provide value to the self and decreased other-focused behaviors that provide value to others. This research demonstrates how exposure to the concept of emptiness by simply performing or observing acts of emptying (vs. filling or control) of a glass vase, coat pockets, a glass jar, or a duffle bag triggers the cognitive metaphor of resource deficiency. The resource deficiency metaphor in turn leads people to engage in self-focused behaviors such as eating candy or planning a dream vacation and to disengage from other-focused behaviors such as donating to charities or helping others.
Lee, Angela Y.. 2015. Acts of Emptying Promote Self-focus: A Perceived Resource Deficiency Perspective. Journal of Consumer Psychology. 25(2): 257-267.