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Big-Picture Issues: Research on Helping Behavior and Victims of Natural Disasters


  • Correspondence should be addressed to Zdravko Marjanovic, PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor, Division of Social Science (Psychology), Memorial University of Newfoundland, Grenfell Campus, Corner Brook, Newfoundland, A2H 6P9 [e-mail:,].

  • Acknowledgments: This research was made possible by SSHRC funding to the first author.


In this article we address the three general themes that emerged from the commentary articles regarding our target article. These were: (1) victim culpability; (2) the nature of the empathy-helping relation, and; (3) victim characteristics that influence helping rates. For each topic, we review overarching concerns made in the commentaries, any ideas that these authors proposed, and our response or perspective on each topic. As the commentaries were rich in content and broad in scope, we could not address each and every concern individually. This article addresses only what we considered to be the big-picture issues.