Reactions to Receiving Assumptive Help: The Moderating Effects of Group Membership and Perceived Need for Help


  • This research was supported by the Argentina Chair for Research in the Social Psychology for Conflict and Cooperation, Tel Aviv University.

Samer Halabi, School of Behavioral Sciences, Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo, 14 Rabenu Yeruham Street, P.O. Box 8401, Yaffo 68114, Israel. E-mail:


The present study examined how group membership and need for help, variables that can operate independently or in combination, can affect reactions to receiving help. Arab participants (n = 164) received or did not receive help from an in-group member (Arab helper) or from an out-group high-status member (Jewish helper) when the task was described as easy or difficult, or when no information was given. As predicted, Arab participants who received assistance from a Jewish helper or received assistance on an easy task showed more negative reactions than did those who received assistance from an Arab helper or on a difficult task. The theoretical implications for disentangling intergroup and interpersonal influences on reactions to receiving help are considered.