Many governments and institutions are currently challenged with insecurity, economic instability, and ongoing turbulence which may undermine the quality of life of each human being and the sustainable development of civil society. As this kind of sustainable development is strictly related to the promotion of the ‘common good’, it is of paramount importance to understand the different motives that lead people to give their contribution to the common good, in order to sustainably align individual needs with the needs of the society. By adopting a psychological perspective for the promotion of the sustainable development, the aim of this study is to develop and validate a new metric, the Common Good Provision scale (CGP), to assess people’s orientation towards economic and social sustainability. Items were generated from a preliminary qualitative study investigating meaning and representations on the common good and its provision. Both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were undertaken to validate and improve the scale. The final scale, which consists of seven items, contains two dimensions: Accessibility (i.e., making the common good accessible to anyone and fulfilling people’s basic needs) and Personal Gain (i.e., getting a return and personal advantage in exchange for one’s contribution). In addition, we tested a model in relation to a specific form of contribution: Paying taxes and making charitable donations, that are two complementary ways to financially provide for the common good. It was found that when the Accessibility motive prevails, people are more willing to pay taxes and make donations, whereas when the Personal Gain motive prevails, people are more likely to commit tax evasion and less willing to make monetary donations. The study is novel in that it represents the first attempt to develop a metric to assess people’s motives towards the common good provision. Potentialities and further applications of the CGP scale to other contexts are discussed in relation to the promotion of people’s wellbeing and sustainable development.
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