Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Thomas T. Jackson
Dovidio and Morris (1975) conducted a study that examined the effects of stress and commonality of fate on males ' helping behavior. These authors found that high stress facilitated helping behavior when individuals shared a common fate, but inhibited helping behavior when fate was dissimilar. A design replication (Hayden, Jackson, & Guydish, 1983) of this study examined the effects of these variables on females' helping behavior. Consistent with the original study, Hayden et al. (1983) found a significant stress-fate interaction and also a greater overall amount of helping behavior than that found by Dovidio and Morris (1975). The present study was a replication and extension of the Dovidio and Morris (1975) study with the addition of the following two variables: sex of confederate and sex of subject. This experiment was a 2 (stress) X 2 (fate) X 2 (subject sex) X 2 (confederate sex) factorial design. There were high and low stress conditions and common and dissimilar fate conditions, with both males and females employed as subjects and confederates. Each subject was randomly assigned to one of four stress-fate conditions: high stress-common fate (both subject and confederate told they would participate in a shock experiment), high stress-dissimilar fate (subject told he/she would participate in a shock experiment, while the confederate was told he/she would participate in a word association study), low stress-common fate (both subject and confederate told they would participate in a word association study), and low stress-dissimilar fate (subject told he/she would participate in a word association study , while the confederate was told he/she would participate in a shock experiment). Half of the female subjects and half of the male subjects participated in the study with a male confederate, while the remaining individuals in the two subject groups participated with a female confederate. In contrast to the stated hypotheses, the present study did not replicate findings from the studies by Dovidio and Morris (1975) and Hayden et al. (1983) in the same sex conditions. Results that were found are discussed along with possible explanations for the findings.
Copyright 1984 Shelly R. Hayden
Hayden, Shelly R., "Helping Behavior: The Effects of Stress, Commonality of Fate, and Gender" (1984). Master's Theses. 1914.