Perceived patient responsibility and belief in a just world affect helping
This experiment integrated information from two areas of research - patient perception and belief in a just world (BJW) - that have heretofore offered relatively separate insights into when people will help others. We provided participants an actual opportunity to help a target medical patient and attempted to demonstrate that volunteering is affected by both characteristics of the patient (perceived responsibility for disease onset) and characteristics of the perceiver (BJW). Participants were significantly more likely to help an individual portrayed as not responsible for disease onset, and helping was most pronounced in participants who held a high BJW. Our findings suggest an interactive model of patient perception and helping behavior in which characteristics of the patient interact with characteristics of the perceiver.
Basic and Applied Social Psychology
DePalma, Mary Turner; Madey, Scott F.; Tillman, Timothy C.; and Wheeler, Jennifer, "Perceived patient responsibility and belief in a just world affect helping" (1999). Faculty Articles Indexed in Scopus. 2349.