With a little help from my friend: Effect of single or multiple act aid as a function of donor and task characteristics

Arie Nadler, Jeffrey D. Fisher, Shulamit B. Itzhak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


96 Israeli males were asked to bring a good same-sex friend with them to the experiment. Half the Ss were told that their teammate, with whom they were to interact at a later stage of the experiment, was their friend. The other half were told that they had been teamed up with someone whom they did not know. Ss were instructed to solve a detective story, the performance of which was presented to half the Ss as related to ego-relevant dimensions (e.g., intelligence, creativity) and to the other half as related to non-ego-relevant dimensions (e.g., luck and momentary mood). The assignment was insolvable, and Ss were helped by their supposed teammate to obtain the "correct" solution. Half received help on one detective story, and the other half received help on 2 stories. Results show that Ss who had been helped twice on an ego-relevant task by a good friend had the least-favorable affect and self-evaluations. Ss who had been helped twice by a good friend on a non-ego-relevant dimension tended to have the most-favorable affect and self-evaluations. Similar patterns were observed for measures of external perception (i.e., liking for helper, evaluations of helper, and relations with the helper). Implications for research on recipient reactions to aid, social comparison processes, and close interpersonal relations are discussed. (27 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-321
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1983


  • ego- vs non-ego-relevant task dimensions, affect &
  • friend vs stranger &
  • helper evaluations, male college students
  • self &
  • single vs multiple instances of aid &


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