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Personal responsibility and salience of the request for help: Determinants of the relation between negative affect and helping behavior

Personal responsibility and salience of the request for help: Determinants of the relation... 148 female undergraduates participated in 3 experiments. The hypothesis that attribution of responsibility to self for one's experimentally induced depressed mood would induce greater inclination to offer help when subsequently asked was tested in Exp I through a design that manipulated mood (negative vs neutral) and attribution of responsibility for it (internal vs external). The obtained opposite result seemed attributable to the low salience of the request for help. Exp II replicated Exp I using a highly salient request for help and confirmed the initial hypothesis. In Exp III, a negative mood was induced in all Ss, and attribution of responsibility (internal vs external) was crossed with salience of the helping request in a 2 by 2 factorial design. The obtained interaction confirmed the prediction that internal attribution of responsibility increases willingness to help (as measured either behaviorally or attitudinally) when the request is salient, but inhibits it when the request lacks salience. Self-focus, as measured by the Stroop Color-Word Test, was shown to mediate these effects. (40 ref) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Personality and Social Psychology American Psychological Association

Personal responsibility and salience of the request for help: Determinants of the relation between negative affect and helping behavior

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Publisher
American Psychological Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1982 American Psychological Association
ISSN
0022-3514
eISSN
1939-1315
DOI
10.1037/0022-3514.43.5.956
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

148 female undergraduates participated in 3 experiments. The hypothesis that attribution of responsibility to self for one's experimentally induced depressed mood would induce greater inclination to offer help when subsequently asked was tested in Exp I through a design that manipulated mood (negative vs neutral) and attribution of responsibility for it (internal vs external). The obtained opposite result seemed attributable to the low salience of the request for help. Exp II replicated Exp I using a highly salient request for help and confirmed the initial hypothesis. In Exp III, a negative mood was induced in all Ss, and attribution of responsibility (internal vs external) was crossed with salience of the helping request in a 2 by 2 factorial design. The obtained interaction confirmed the prediction that internal attribution of responsibility increases willingness to help (as measured either behaviorally or attitudinally) when the request is salient, but inhibits it when the request lacks salience. Self-focus, as measured by the Stroop Color-Word Test, was shown to mediate these effects. (40 ref)

Journal

Journal of Personality and Social PsychologyAmerican Psychological Association

Published: Nov 1, 1982

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