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Self-Focus, Helping Request Salience, Felt Responsibility, and Helping Behavior

Self-Focus, Helping Request Salience, Felt Responsibility, and Helping Behavior The present study represents a further investigation of the apparently complex relationship between self-focus and helping behavior. We propose that the relationship between self-focus and helping is mediated by felt responsibility. Increasing self-focus will increase helping behavior provided that it also leads to increased felt responsibility for the distressed other. We also suggest that salience of the helping request, in part, determines whether or not increased self-focus leads to increased felt responsibility and, thus, helping. Specifically, we predicted that under conditions of high helping request salience, increasing self-focus should lead to increased felt responsibility for the welfare of the distressed other and, thus, willingness to help. Under conditions of low helping request salience, increasing self-focus should not lead to increased felt responsibility or helping. The data supported our predictions. Implications of these findings for recent research (Rogers, Miller, Mayer, & Duval, 1982; Gibbons & Wicklund, 1982; Duval, Duval, & Neely, 1979; Wegner & Schaefer, 1978) relating self-focus to helping is also discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin SAGE

Self-Focus, Helping Request Salience, Felt Responsibility, and Helping Behavior

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References (11)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0146-1672
eISSN
1552-7433
DOI
10.1177/0146167285112001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The present study represents a further investigation of the apparently complex relationship between self-focus and helping behavior. We propose that the relationship between self-focus and helping is mediated by felt responsibility. Increasing self-focus will increase helping behavior provided that it also leads to increased felt responsibility for the distressed other. We also suggest that salience of the helping request, in part, determines whether or not increased self-focus leads to increased felt responsibility and, thus, helping. Specifically, we predicted that under conditions of high helping request salience, increasing self-focus should lead to increased felt responsibility for the welfare of the distressed other and, thus, willingness to help. Under conditions of low helping request salience, increasing self-focus should not lead to increased felt responsibility or helping. The data supported our predictions. Implications of these findings for recent research (Rogers, Miller, Mayer, & Duval, 1982; Gibbons & Wicklund, 1982; Duval, Duval, & Neely, 1979; Wegner & Schaefer, 1978) relating self-focus to helping is also discussed.

Journal

Personality and Social Psychology BulletinSAGE

Published: Jun 1, 1985

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