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3. The Social Identity Approach to Helping
- Image Credits
About this Lecture
In this lecture, we think about more recent social psychological research into helping, focusing in particular on: (i) how the social identity approach, made popular by the work of Tajfel and Turner, has served to highlight the importance of group memberships for helping behaviour; (ii) the concept of ‘identity salience’ as the notion that different group identities become more important to us in different situations (e.g. our identity as a football fan may become ‘salient’ to us when we are surrounded by other football fans); (iii) how this impacts our willingness to help those we consider to be part of our group and those we consider to be outsiders; (iv) some recent research studies which have investigated this effect, including Drury (2009) which explored the positive effects of group membership on helping in the context of the July 2005 London bombings and Levine et al. (2005) which demonstrated that shifts in ingroup/outgroup boundaries have an important impact on who receives help.
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).
Cite this Lecture
Wakefield, J. (2020, March 23). Social Influence – Helping and Help-Seeking - The Social Identity Approach to Helping [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/helping-and-help-seeking/the-social-identity-approach-to-helping
Wakefield, J. "Social Influence – Helping and Help-Seeking – The Social Identity Approach to Helping." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Mar 2020, https://www.massolit.io/courses/helping-and-help-seeking/the-social-identity-approach-to-helping
• "Henri Tajfel", licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
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