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Title: The misunderstood helper : investigating the perceptions of help intentions
Authors: Tan, Beverly Jun Xuan
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences
Issue Date: 2018
Abstract: Psychologists are finding egocentric bias to be pervasive in our social lives. We tend to evaluate actions and thoughts of others with what we know about ourselves, giving rise to our tendency to be egocentrically biased in our judgements. This bias may increase the potential for misunderstandings such as misinterpreting the intentions behind an action. The present study investigates how unsolicited help offered by strangers may convey messages of both warmth and competence. Specifically, we studied how the intentions behind unsolicited help was understood by the recipient during a fort-building task. To determine how the unsolicited help was interpreted, we looked at participants’ perceptions of self, other, and meta-perceptions of warmth and competence. Contrary to predictions, results showed that help was perceived to be offered only out of good intentions (i.e., warmth), and not because the helper thought that they were incompetent. Recipients of help also did not feel worse as compared to those who completed the task without help. Possible explanations for the current results and recommendations for future studies were also discussed.
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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