Perspective Taking as a Moderator of the Relation between Social Rejection and Altruism

Zheng Li

Abstract


This paper measures rejected people’s willingness to help and empathic concern towards the target person need
help under four scenarios after the manipulation of social rejection by essay task and perspective taking by
instruction before reading the descriptions of the scenarios. Participants in rejection condition with a high level
of perspective taking showed a higher level of willingness to help than participants with a low level of
perspective taking. Rejected participants indicated equal degree of willingness to help another rejected person no
matter they adopt perspective taking or not. When the helping behavior can be considered as a future interaction,
rejected participants with a high level of perspective taking did not show a higher level of intention to help when
compared with control participants with a high level of perspective taking. The willingness to help did not drop
significantly when the altruistic behavior is under a risk of negative evaluation. The manipulation of rejection
and perspective taking did not show an influence on the participants’ empathic concern towards the target person.
The results were not induced by mood or rejection sensitivity.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/ijps.v3n2p64

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International Journal of Psychological Studies   ISSN 1918-7211 (Print)   ISSN 1918-722X (Online)

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