Religious Priming Increases Help if Requesters Dress Poorly: Effects of Dress, Priming, and Task Difficulty on Helping Behaviors

  •  Hui Lu    
  •  King Chan    


The present study investigated requester–helper interaction, helper personal disposition, and their interactions in effecting helping behavior. In a 2 × 2 × 2 experimental design, participants were asked to help with an effortful or effortless task by a well-dressed or poorly dressed help requester after being primed with religious or neutral words. Results showed that well-dressed requesters, religious primes, and effortless tasks independently increased helping behavior, and helping with effortful task requested by poorly dressed requesters particularly increased after religious primes. These findings provide an integrated understanding of the micro and meso causes of helping behavior.

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