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When and How Do High Status Group Members Offer Help: Effects of Social Dominance Orientation and Status Threat



The present study explored the implications of an intergroup perspective on individual difference and situational influences on helping, specifically, outgroup members. In particular, we examined the effects of social dominance orientation (SDO) and group status threat on the amount and kind of help offered by Jewish participants (n = 99) to Arab and Jewish students. Dependent measures were the likelihood of helping outgroup and ingroup members across various situations of need and, when help is given, the likelihood that it would be dependency-oriented rather than autonomy-oriented assistance. As expected, higher SDO individuals offered less help to outgroup (Arab) students, particularly when they experienced threat to group status, but not to ingroup members. In addition, higher SDO participants, when they did report that they would help, were more likely to offer dependency-oriented help to outgroup than to ingroup members. The theoretical and applied implications are discussed.