Requests for reprints should be sent to Robert A. Baron, Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907.
Physical Distance and Helping: Some Unexpected Benefits of “Crowding In” on Others1
Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 6, Issue 2, pages 95–104, June 1976
How to Cite
Baron, R. A. and Bell, P. A. (1976), Physical Distance and Helping: Some Unexpected Benefits of “Crowding In” on Others. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 6: 95–104. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1976.tb01316.x
The authors wish to express sincere appreciation to Jim Morrison, Pat Newman, Diane Pierce, and Patti Rostkowski for their able assistance in the collection of the data.
- Issue online: 31 JUL 2006
- Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
One hundred and sixty undergraduates (80 males, 80 females) participated in a field experiment designed to examine the influence of invasions of personal space and sex of requester upon subsequent helping. On the basis of previous research, it was predicted that helping would be markedly inhibited by invasions of personal space, and that the magnitude of these effects would be mediated by the sex of the individuals who perpetrated such intrusions. Surprisingly, however, results indicated that subsequent helping was actually facilitated by such invasions. A follow-up investigation replicated these results and suggested that they stemmed from a tendency on the part of subjects to perceive close physical approach by the requester as indicative of a high need for assistance.