Presenter Information

Abbey HedrickFollow

Location

Schewel 232

Access Type

Campus Access Only

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

4-4-2018 4:15 PM

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Acts of kindness can be linked to a variety of situations in different settings. Understanding specific factors that influence people to act prosocially may impact how often, when, and where one may feel the desire to help. The current study examined the effect of situational contexts, direct versus indirect, on prosocial behavior. Participants consisted of undergraduate students who were asked to read a story about Ann, an 18-year-old girl in need of help. Students were randomly assigned to one of two conditions in which knowledge of a helping situation occurred either through direct or indirect contact. Empathetic and altruistic behaviors were measured using the Questionnaire Measure of Emotional Empathy (Mehrabian & Epstein, 1972) as well as the Self Report Altruism Scale (Rushton, Chrisjohn, & Fekken, 1981). It was hypothesized that individuals would be more likely to help in the situation involving direct interaction due to the personal contact involved. The current research demonstrates that prosocial behavior may be increased simply by understanding the context of a situation.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Marciano

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Apr 4th, 4:15 PM

The Effect of Situational Context on Prosocial Behavior

Schewel 232

Acts of kindness can be linked to a variety of situations in different settings. Understanding specific factors that influence people to act prosocially may impact how often, when, and where one may feel the desire to help. The current study examined the effect of situational contexts, direct versus indirect, on prosocial behavior. Participants consisted of undergraduate students who were asked to read a story about Ann, an 18-year-old girl in need of help. Students were randomly assigned to one of two conditions in which knowledge of a helping situation occurred either through direct or indirect contact. Empathetic and altruistic behaviors were measured using the Questionnaire Measure of Emotional Empathy (Mehrabian & Epstein, 1972) as well as the Self Report Altruism Scale (Rushton, Chrisjohn, & Fekken, 1981). It was hypothesized that individuals would be more likely to help in the situation involving direct interaction due to the personal contact involved. The current research demonstrates that prosocial behavior may be increased simply by understanding the context of a situation.