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Social Influence – Helping and Help-Seeking

5. The Social Identity Approach to Help-Seeking

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In this lecture, we think about more recent research into help-seeking, focusing in particular on: (i) that which goes beyond the interpersonal framework of the Threat to Self-Esteem Model and instead highlights the importance of social groups; (ii) an example of this social identity approach to help-seeking being Nadler’s Intergroup Helping as Status Relations Model; (iii) the fact that this model proposes that helping transactions frequently take place between groups of unequal status (e.g. a developed country providing aid to a less economically developed country) and investigates how these status differences impact help-seeking and receiving; (iv) two research studies, Halabi, 1999 and Peleg, 2000, which provide evidence for this model in a real-world Israeli context.


In this course, Dr Juliet Wakefield (Nottingham Trent University) explores the social psychology of helping and help-seeking. In the first lecture, we are introduced to the topics of helping and help-seeking. In the second lecture, 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 Bystander Effect theory. In the third lecture, we consider later research into helping behaviour which was informed by Tajfel and Turner’s social identity approach. Next, we move on to think about help-seeking and help-receiving, focusing on the Threat to Self-Esteem Model. In the fifth lecture, we think about the importance of group memberships for helping transactions. In the sixth and final lecture, we conclude on the course with a summary of key points.


Dr Juliet Wakefield is a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Nottingham Trent University. Dr Wakefield is a member of the Groups, Identities, and Health research group and has research interests in the social identity approach and implications of group membership. Some of Dr Wakefield’s recent publications include ‘Communities as conduits of harm: a social identity analysis of appraisal, coping and justice-seeking in response to historic collective victimisation’ (2022) and ‘The link between family identification, loneliness, and symptom severity in people with eating disorders’ (2022).

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APA style

Wakefield, J. (2020, March 23). Social Influence – Helping and Help-Seeking - The Social Identity Approach to Help-Seeking [Video]. MASSOLIT.

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Wakefield, J. "Social Influence – Helping and Help-Seeking – The Social Identity Approach to Help-Seeking." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Mar 2020,

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