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Title: Lost in intentions : examining the perceptions of receivers of unsolicited help
Authors: Loi, Janine En Qi
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Psychology::Experimental psychology
Issue Date: 2018
Abstract: The egocentric nature of human thought becomes problematic when an act of kindness by the giver is misinterpreted by the receiver as an insult of competence. This phenomenon may be especially salient in situations where the offered help threatens one’s self-esteem. In this study, we investigate how helping communicates warmth and competence between individuals in a dyad. Specifically, we expect that help givers will be perceived as high on warmth; but help receivers will perceive themselves as low on competence in the eyes of the giver. Within the context of a simple brick sorting task, participants (n = 60) were framed to be recipients of unsolicited help by a confederate who posed as another fellow participant. As predicted, confederates who imposed unsolicited help on participants were perceived to be friendly and warm, but help receivers viewed the act of help as a sign that they lacked competence. Moreover, participants who received unsolicited help felt worse than those who did not receive any help. These findings shed light on the role of egocentric processes in helping behaviours—such as giving and receiving help—and suggest ways on how to navigate social quandaries as a help giver and receiver without triggering trivial misunderstandings. Future research directions are discussed.
Schools: School of Humanities and Social Sciences 
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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