Help that hurts? Perceptions of intergroup assistance

Samer Halabi, John F. Dovidio, Arie Nadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current research, guided theoretically by the Intergroup Helping as Status Relations Model, explored how high and low status groups (Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs) perceive offers of help from the high to the low status group. Ninety-three Arab and Jewish participants were asked to imagine and evaluate offers of help from Jews to Arabs in Israel. Consistent with the hypothesis that members of high and low status groups would have different perspectives and goals in their relations, Israeli Arabs viewed help by Israeli Jews more as a way to reinforce existing hierarchy and as a way of asserting the higher groups' domination. Recognizing the different orientations of members of high and low status groups to potentially conciliatory actions, such as helping behavior, can enhance understanding of the dynamics of intergroup relations and conflict and reveal factors that might fuel intergroup misunderstandings and tensions, which can represent a critical step to improving intergroup relations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Group misunderstanding
  • Group status
  • Intergroup helping
  • Intergroup relations
  • Social identity theory


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