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Textbook Site for:
Social Psychology , Sixth Edition
Sharon S. Brehm - Indiana University
Saul Kassin - Williams College
Steven Fein - Williams College
Chapter Outlines - Helping Others

I. Evolutionary and Motivational Factors: Why Do People Help?
A. Evolutionary Factors in Helping
1. The selfish gene: kinship selection, we help our relatives
2. Reciprocal altruism: reciprocity, we help those who help us
3. The cooperative group
B. Rewards of Helping: Helping Others to Help Oneself
C. Altruism or Egoism: The Great Debate
1. Two motives for helping
a) egoistic: desire to increase one’s own welfare
b) altruistic: desire to increase another’s welfare
2. Empathy and altruism: empathy-altruism hypothesis
a) perspective taking is the cognitive component of empathy
b) there are two emotional components of empathy -- empathic concern and personal distress
c) empathic concern can lead to helping
d) personal distress can lead to helping because of self-oriented reactions to a person in need, such as feeling alarmed, troubled, or upset
3. Egoistic alternatives
a) guilt: probably can’t explain Batson’s (1981) results
b) negative state relief model: help others to improve one’s mood
c) empathic joy: an empathy specific reward
4. Altruism versus egoism: limits and convergence
D. Distinguishing Among the Motivations to Help: Why Does it Matter?
II. Situational Influences: When Do People Help?
A. The Unhelpful Crowd
1. The bystander effect: people are less likely to help when others are present
2. Five steps where bystanders may impede helping
a) noticing: sometimes it is hard to notice that others need help, especially when one is busy
b) interpreting: when someone is in a helping situation it is easy to believe that he or she is the only one who thinks help is necessary; when everyone feels this way it is called pluralistic ignorance
c) taking responsibility: when bystanders are around, people tend to believe that other people will or should take responsibility; this is called diffusion of responsibility
d) deciding how to help: direct help is more likely when bystanders feel competent
e) providing help: the arousal cost reward model of helping stipulates that both emotional and cognitive factors affect when there are bystanders; audience inhibition or the fear of making a bad impression is one cost in this model
3. The legacy of the bystander effect research: What to do to get help in a crowd
B. Time Pressure :People Help Less When They Are Late
C. Location and Culture: People Help Less in Cities
D. Moods and Helping
1. Good moods and doing good
a) the mood maintenance hypothesis suggests we may help to stay in a good mood
b) we may help more because a good mood elicits positive thoughts
2. Bad moods and doing good
a) guilt can lead to helping
b) the negative state-relief model suggests that we may help to avoid feeling bad
c) negative moods only increase helping if we take responsibility for them
d) self-awareness leads to helping if focus is on value of helping; can decrease helping if focus is on self-concerns
E. Role Models and Social Norms: A Helpful Standard
1. How role models influence helping
2. How social norms influence helping
a) norms based on fairness: reciprocity and equity
b) norms based on what is right: social responsibility and justice
c) norm of self-interest
III. Personal Influences: Who is Likely to Help?
A. Are Some People More Helpful than Others?
B. What is the altruistic personality?
1. Helping appears to be situation-specific
2. Empathy and moral Reasoning
IV. Interpersonal Influences: Whom Do People Help?
A. Perceived Characteristics of the Person in Need
1. Attractiveness: attractive people are helped more
2. Attributions of responsibility: people are helped more if they aren’t blamed for their plight
B. The Fit Between Giver and Receiver
1. Similarity: Helping those just like us
2. Closeness: A little help from our friends
a) self-evaluation maintenance theory predicts we help our friends more than strangers on low ego-relevant tasks
b) self-evaluation maintenance theory predicts we help our friends less than strangers on high ego-relevant tasks
3. Gender and helping
a) men help more when helping may be dangerous
b) women help more when help involves social support
V. Reactions to Receiving Help
A. Help That Supports vs. Help That Threatens
1. Threat to self-esteem model
2. Two types of help
a) self-supportive help: help that makes the recipient feel cared for and appreciated
b) self-threatening help: help that makes the recipient feel inferior and overly dependent
B. Seeking Help from Others
1. Help may be seen as a threat
a. when the person in need has high self-esteem
b. when the person in need is helped by a similar other
c. when the person in need receives help from a significant other on an ego-relevant task
d. when the person in need is a member of a stigmatized group and the help is unsolicited
2. Help from another is usually seen as helpful
a. when it involves close relationships
b. when there is mutuality
c. when children receive help from adults
VI. The Helping Connection: Feeling Connected to Others Leads to More Helping