Publication Date

2016

Abstract

Whether people seek help depends on their estimations of both the likelihood and the value of getting it. Although past research has carefully examined how accurately help-seekers predict whether their help requests will be granted, it has failed to examine how accurately help-seekers predict the value of that help, should they receive it. In this paper, we focus on how accurately help-seekers predict a key determinant of help value, namely, helper effort. In four studies, we find that (a) helpers put more effort into helping than help-seekers expect (Studies 1-4); (b) people do not underestimate the effort others will expend in general, but rather only the effort others will expend helping them (Study 2); and (c) this underestimation of help effort stems from help-seekers’ failure to appreciate the discomfort—in particular, the guilt—that helpers would experience if they did not do enough to help (Studies 3 & 4).

Comments

Required Publisher Statement
© Elsevier. Final version published as: Newark, D. A., Bohns, V. K., & Flynn, F. J. (2017). A helping hand is hard at work: Help-seekers’ underestimation of helpers’ effort. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 139, 223-226.
doi: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2017.01.001
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation
Newark, D. A., Bohns, V. K., & Flynn, F. J. (2016). A helping hand is hard at work: Help-seekers’ underestimation of helpers’ effort [Electronic version]. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, ILR School site: http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/articles/1143

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