Motivation, model attributes, and prosocial behavior


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Abstract

Examined the personality and situational effects that influence prosocial behavior. 112 safety- and esteem-oriented (as measured by a sentence-completion test) undergraduates were exposed to an emergency situation wherein the experimenter was ostensibly injured by an “explosion.” Results indicate that there were significant situational and personality determinants of helping and imitative behavior. Overall, there was more help when Ss were interacting with an active vs a passive model. Esteem-oriented Ss were more likely to initiate helping behavior and were more strongly influenced by high-competence models. In contrast, safety-oriented Ss helped less overall and were more influenced by high-status models. Results are discussed in terms of a Person × Situation paradigm of prosocial behaviors. (32 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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