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Social Psychology of Helping Relations. Solidarity and Hierarchy. Edition No. 1. Contemporary Social Issues

  • ID: 5224385
  • Book
  • January 2020
  • 248 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Examines the major aspects of giving and receiving help in interpersonal and intergroup relations

This unique book extends the traditional emphasis on interpersonal help-giving in order to consider a wider spectrum of interpersonal and intergroup helping relations. Help giving is viewed as reflecting people’s care for others, while at the same time dependency on help and giving help imply lower and higher places on the social hierarchy, respectively. It studies the psychology of what goes into helping someone and integrates experimental work conducted in the social psychological laboratory with applied research from volunteer organizations, schools, and work and family environments. In addition to research on the giving of help, the book considers the recipient of help and reviews research and theory on people's readiness to seek and receive help. Unlike much of past research in this context that has been interested in the “generosity question” (i.e., whether or not people help others) the book considers how different kinds of assistance (i.e., autonomy and dependency-oriented help) shape helping interactions.  It then goes beyond the analyses of the immediate helping interaction to consider the long-term consequences of giving and receiving help. Finally, the book addresses theory and research on intergroup helping relations.

Social Psychology of Helping Relations: Solidarity and Hierarchy begins with a general introduction to the topic. It then offers a series of broad perspectives, covering the philosophical and psychological theory, evolution, and overview of social psychological research. Next, the book looks at the social psychology of helping relations, examining the parties involvedt, and the “why” behind their actions. The positives and negatives of giving and receiving assistance, and the links between status and interpersonal and intergroup helping relations are also covered.  It considers how giving, seeking and receiving help maintains or challenges status relations between individuals and groups. The book finishes with a conclusion that wraps up the many lessons learned.

  • Looks at solidarity and inequality in social interactions
  • Examines why people are ready to give and receive help
  • Studies the consequences of giving and receiving help
  • Highlights important implications to different kinds of help beyond the dichotomy between giving/receiving help or not
  • Addresses research and theory on interpersonal and intergroup helping relations
  • The implications of helping relations for personal and social change

Social Psychology of Helping Relations: Solidarity and Hierarchy is an ideal book for advanced students, researchers and individuals interested in social psychology, counselling, social work, Sociology, and Political Science. 

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Acknowledgement xi

1 General Introduction 1

1.1 Helping Relations: Social Belongingness and Social Hierarchy 1

1.2 “Helping” in Social Psychology: Definitions and Concepts 4

1.3 Perspective on Helping Relations and Outline 6

1.3.1 Present Perspective on Helping Relations 6

1.3.2 Outline of Book Contents 8

2 Broad Perspectives: Philosophical and Psychological Theory, Evolution, and Overview of Social Psychological Research 11

2.1 Early Philosophical and Psychological Theory 11

2.1.1 Helping: Belongingness and Solidarity 11

2.1.2 Helping Relations as Hierarchical Relations 13

2.2 Evolutionary Perspectives on Helping Relations 16

2.2.1 The Evolutionary Basis of Generosity 16

2.2.1.1 Kin Selection and Inclusive Fitness 17

2.2.1.2 Reciprocal Altruism 18

2.2.1.3 Group Selection 19

2.2.2 Evolutionary Basis of Helping as Hierarchical Relations 20

2.3 Overview of Social Psychological Research 22

3 Social Psychology of Help-Giving: The When, Who, and Why of Help‐Giving 27

3.1 The “When” of Help‐Giving: Characteristics of the Situation 29

3.1.1 Bystander Intervention 29

3.1.1.1 The Beginning 29

3.1.1.2 Bystander Intervention: The Social Identity Perspective 34

3.1.1.3 Bystander Intervention: Concluding Comments 36

3.1.2 Social Norms and Helping: Sharing, Social Responsibility, Reciprocity 37

3.1.2.1 Sharing with Others 38

3.1.2.2 The Norm of Social Responsibility 39

3.1.2.3 Reciprocity 40

3.1.2.4 Socioeconomic Determinants of Social Responsibility and Reciprocity 42

3.1.3 Religiosity and Helpfulness 43

3.1.4 Cross‐Cultural Differences in Help‐Giving 45

3.1.4.1 Experimental Games 46

3.1.4.2 Social Psychological Research 48

3.2 Who Helps: Characteristics of the Helper 51

3.2.1 Developmental Antecedents 51

3.2.1.1 The Development of Empathy: from “Global Empathic Distress” to “Adult Empathy” 52

3.2.1.2 Socialization Practices 54

3.2.2 Characteristics of the Helpful Person’s Personality 58

3.2.2.1 The ABC of the Helpful Personality 60

3.2.2.2 Attachment and Helpfulness 63

3.2.2.3 Beyond Empathy and Attachment: Metaphors, Awe, and Vagal Activity 65

3.2.3 The Demographics of the Helpful Person: Who Helps More: Men? Women? Rich? Poor? 66

3.2.3.1 Gender Differences in Helping 66

3.2.3.2 Socioeconomic Differences: Helpfulness of the Rich and the Poor 70

3.3 “Why Help?”: Empathy, Attribution and Prestige 75

3.3.1 Empathy: Altruism or Selfishness 76

3.3.2 The Quest for Prestige 80

3.3.3 Attributional Answers to Why Help 84

3.3.3.1 Do they Deserve It? 84

3.3.3.2 Models of Helping and Coping 87

4 From Help‐Giving to Helping Relations: Consequences of Giving and Receiving Help 91

4.1 Short‐ and Long‐term Consequences of Giving 91

4.2 Receiving Help: Gratitude and Threat to Self‐Esteem 96

4.2.1 Receiving Help as a Self‐Supportive Experience: Gratitude 98

4.2.1.1 Benefit‐Triggered/Situational Gratitude: Antecedents and Consequences 99

4.2.1.2 Dispositional Gratitude 107

4.2.2 The Negative Consequences of Receiving Help: The Self‐Threat in Dependency 109

4.2.2.1 Who is the Helper? Effects of Helper Identity on Receptivity to Help 112

4.2.2.2 The How of Help: Characteristics of the Help Provided 117

4.2.2.3 Effects of Recipient Characteristics on Receptivity to Help 122

4.2.2.4 Cultural Variables: Individualistic and Collectivistic Cultures 125

4.2.2.5 The Recipient’s Personality Characteristics 129

5 Intergroup Helping Relations 139

5.1 Giving Within the Group: Solidarity or Discrimination? 140

5.1.1 The Motivation for Ingroup and Outgroup Helping: Empathy and Attraction 142

5.2 Giving Across Group Boundaries 145

5.2.1 Strategic Helping 145

5.2.2 Discriminatory Helping: Giving Across Racial Boundaries 146

5.2.2.1 Discriminatory Helping as Aversive Racism 148

5.2.2.2 Overcoming Discriminatory Helping: Common Group Identity 149

5.3 Intergroup Helping Relations in Structurally Unequal Contexts 151

5.3.1 The Intergroup Helping as Status Relations (IHSR) Model 152

5.3.1.1 The Social Structure: Security of Social Hierarchy 152

5.3.1.2 Characteristics of the Help: Autonomy‐ and Dependency‐Oriented Help 154

5.3.1.3 Personal Characteristics of Group Members 154

5.3.2 The Low‐Status Group: Seeking and Receiving from the Advantaged Group 156

5.3.3 The High‐Status Group: Giving to the Disadvantaged 159

5.3.3.1 Defensive Helping: Helping to Protect Ingroup’s Status 160

5.3.3.2 Perceptions of Help Seeking by High‐ and Low‐Status Group Members 164

5.4 Closing Comments: Intergroup Helping 166

6 Concluding Comments 169

6.1 Solidarity and Hierarchy in Helping Relations 169

6.2 Beyond the Help/No Help Dichotomy 170

6.3 From Helping to Equality‐Based Interactions 172

References 175

Index 213

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Arie Nadler
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