Effects of Opportunity to Reciprocate and Self-Esteem on Help-Seeking Behavior

Arie Nadler, Ofra Mayseless, Abigail Chemenriski, Netanel Peri

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The present investigation explored the link between an individual's selfesteem and willingness to seek help under conditions in which future reciprocity is, or is not, expected Based on past research on (a) the effects of perceived opportunity to reciprocate on help seeking, and (b) the effects of self-esteem on help-seeking and receiving, it was expected that relative to low self-esteem individuals, high self-esteem individuals would be more committed to the norm of reciprocity in interpersonal helping, and be more reluctant to seek help which cannot be reciprocated Two studies were conducted In the first it was observed that the higher the level of selfesteem the more the expressed commitment to the norm of reciprocity as measured by scores on an especially designed scale The second study assessed actual help-seeking behavior, and found that least help was sought by high self-esteem individuals who did not foresee an opportunity for future reciprocity The conceptual and applied implications of these findings are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-35
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Personality
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 1 Mar 1985


    • SELF-esteem
    • SELF-confidence
    • HELP-seeking behavior
    • HUMAN behavior
    • INTERPERSONAL relations
    • COMMITMENT (Psychology)


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