ERIC Number: ED055284
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Reciprocal Altruism: The Effect of Self-Esteem and Anticipation of Face-to-Face Interaction on Reciprocation.
Gregor, Gary L.; Conner, Hubert
The study attempts to measure the effects of self-esteem and face-to-face interaction on a person's giving behavior (altruism). Seventy-two introductory psychology students were paired on a task which required that one of each pair become "indebted" to the other. Their roles were then reversed, and data was collected to see if the debtor-turned-creditor gave back more than he had received (reciprocal altruism). The theoretical bases, procedures, and variable manipulations are described in detail. A major finding of the study is the negative correlation between self-esteem and reciprocation. That is, persons with high self-esteem reciprocated less than those with lower self-esteem. Two possible interpretations are offered. It is also reported that, where subjects anticipated face-to-face confrontation with the other member of their pair, they were more likely to reciprocate. Overall, a cynical interpretation of this finding is favored by the authors: in the absence of a threat to punishment, one doesn't repay his debts unless he must face his creditor. (TL)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Utah Univ., Salt Lake City.
Note: Paper presented at Annual Convention of the Western Psychological Association, San Francisco, Calif., April 21-24, 1971