Conflict and avoidance in the helping situation

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Two field studies with 642 Ss examined avoidance behavior in individuals asked for a charitable donation. Ss were observed as they walked past a table placed in a tunnel leading to the university library. Study 1 showed that Ss tended to maintain a greater distance from the table when it was set up as a donation center than when it was not. In addition, Ss maintained greater distances when a female confederate sat at the table than when no one was at the table. Study 2 replicated the findings of Study 1 and also showed that even greater distances were maintained from the table when a handicapped person sat at the table. This avoidance behavior is discussed with reference to the kinds of conflict inherent in helping situations. (11 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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