Positive responses to intergroup assistance: The roles of apology and trust

Samer Halabi*, Arie Nadler, John F. Dovidio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent research on intergroup helping has shown that offers of help from a high- to a low-status group can be responded to negatively by members of the low-status group. The current research, consisting of two studies, explored factors that can influence how helping by a high-status group is responded to and how much it is sought by members of a low-status group, specifically considering the roles of intergroup trust and apologies in this process. Study 1 investigated reactions of Israeli-Arabs to help offered by Israeli-Jews. Study 2 examined willingness of Israeli-Arabs to seek help from Israeli Jews. Converging results across the two experiments showed that responses to assistance were most positive and helping was most strongly sought when there was an explicit apology by a representative of the outgroup for a recent transgression and Israeli-Arab participants had a relatively high level of intergroup trust. Theoretical and applied implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-411
Number of pages17
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • apology
  • group status
  • helping
  • intergroup bias
  • intergroup relations
  • prosocial behavior
  • social identity theory
  • trust


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