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Dependency, Models, and Reciprocity

Bryan, James H.; Test, Mary Ann
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Behavior Modification, Helping Relationship, Pro-social Behavior, Role Models


Three hypotheses concerning the determinants of helping behaviors were tested. It was predicted that the victim's dependence upon the S, the S's observation of helping models, and the S's previous experience of being personally aided would increase her subsequent willingness to assist others. Eighty female college students were asked to compute and rate arithmetic problems. Ss either witnessed a model helping others, observed a model refuse to aid another, received help themselves, or were not exposed to a model. Half of the Ss were subsequently left with a physically disabled other who was apparently having difficulty with the assigned task. The remaining Ss were left with a healthy other. Results suggested that models have a strong influence on helping.

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