Good looks may help: Effects of helper's physical attractiveness and sex of helper on males' and females' help-seeking behavior


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Abstract

96 19-21 yr old Ss were asked to solve a detective story and were under the impression that correct solutions could be obtained only after a specified number of preliminary questions were answered correctly. Some of these questions were unanswerable, and Ss could ask another S for help. In line with past research (E. Bercheid and E. Walster, 1974; A. Nadler, see PA, Vol 66:5817; H. Sigall and E. Aronson, PA, Vol 43:8310; S. Stokes and L. Bickman, PA, Vol 54:3045), data indicate that for same-sex others, Ss tended to seek less help from physically attractive than unattractive helpers. In cases of cross-sex helping (a) males sought less help from a physically attractive female than an unattractive female and (b) females sought more help from a physically attractive than an unattractive male. Findings are discussed in terms of a self-presentation approach to interpersonal help-seeking behavior. A model of help-seeking and self-presentation is presented. (22 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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