SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

The present investigation explored the link between an individual's self-esteem and willingness to seek help under conditions in which future reciprocity is, or is not, expected Based on past research on (a) the effects of perceived opportunity to reciprocate on help seeking, and (b) the effects of self-esteem on help-seeking and receiving, it was expected that relative to low self-esteem individuals, high self-esteem individuals would be more committed to the norm of reciprocity in interpersonal helping, and be more reluctant to seek help which cannot be reciprocated Two studies were conducted In the first it was observed that the higher the level of self-esteem the more the expressed commitment to the norm of reciprocity as measured by scores on an especially designed scale The second study assessed actual help-seeking behavior, and found that least help was sought by high self-esteem individuals who did not foresee an opportunity for future reciprocity The conceptual and applied implications of these findings are discussed