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4. Help-Seeking: The Threat to Self-Esteem Model
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about early research within social psychology that explored the topic of help-seeking. We note that it was not until the 1970s that researchers began to look in more detail at the circumstances and motivations of the help-seeker and explore Fisher et al.’s Threat to Self-Esteem Model (1978) as a significant development in this area. We examine how this model allows us to understand help-seeking behaviour as an act in which the benefits to the help-seeker are weighed up against possible costs, such as reputational damage or stigmatisation. Finally, we look at a number of other factors that have been found to impact help-seeking in later research, including characteristics relating to the helper, the help-recipient and situational variables.
In this course, Dr Juliet Wakefield (Nottingham Trent University) discusses the social psychology of helping and help-seeking. Module one provides a general introduction to the topics of helping and help-seeking, while the following modules look in more detail at the social psychological research that has been carried out in this area over the past six decades. In module two, we think about early research into helping behaviour with a particular focus on the case of Kitty Genovese and its influence on the development of Darley and Latané’s theory of the Bystander Effect. Module three considers later research into helping behaviour which was informed by Tajfel and Turner’s social identity approach. We then move on to think about help-seeking and help-receiving, focusing on the Threat to Self-Esteem Model in module four and the importance of group memberships for helping transactions in module five. Module six concludes the course with a summary of key points.
Juliet completed her PhD in Social Psychology at the University of Dundee in 2011. Her PhD research concerned the act of help-seeking, and investigated whether group members may use help-seeking as a tool to manage and enhance their group's image in the eyes of others. Juliet then spent four years as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Dundee, working on Professor Fabio Sani's ESRC-funded Health In Groups project. This project investigated the relationships between membership of social groups (family, community, sports groups, etc.) and health. Juliet joined NTU in August 2015. Juliet is a member of the Individuals, Identities, and Cultures research group. In general terms, Juliet's research interests lie within the domains of Social Identity Theory and Self Categorisation Theory, and the implications of group membership for people's everyday lives. This includes intergroup / intragroup helping and help-seeking, the impact of groups on health and well-being, gender identity, national identity, and online identities.
Cite this Lecture
Wakefield, J. (2020, March 23). Helping and Help-Seeking - Help-Seeking: The Threat to Self-Esteem Model [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/helping-and-help-seeking/help-seeking-the-threat-to-self-esteem-model
Wakefield, Juliet. "Helping and Help-Seeking – Help-Seeking: The Threat to Self-Esteem Model." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Mar 2020, https://www.massolit.io/courses/helping-and-help-seeking/help-seeking-the-threat-to-self-esteem-model