Expectation for mood enhancement as a result of helping: The effects of gender and compassionate love

Susan Sprecher, Beverley Fehr, Corinne Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Several theoretical perspectives in the social psychology literature on helping suggest that people forecast the benefit that they will receive as a result of helping others, and help only if they determine that it is rewarding to do so. One type of self-benefit that can be received from helping is an enhancement of positive mood. The major hypotheses of the present study were: (1) women, to a greater degree than men, would expect to experience enhanced positive mood as a consequence of both helping and receiving help in a relational context; and (2) those who are high in compassionate love for others would expect to experience enhanced positive mood from giving and receiving help relative to those who are lower on compassionate love. Support was found for both hypotheses. In addition, women were more likely than men to rate certain helping behaviors in a relational context (e.g., providing verbal support) as good examples of "compassionate love acts." The meaning of the results with respect to altruism and for gender differences in helping behavior is discussed. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-549
Number of pages7
JournalSex Roles
Volume56
Issue number7-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Altruism
  • Compassionate love
  • Gender differences
  • Helping behavior
  • Mood enhancement

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