The helping orientations inventory: Measuring propensities to provide autonomy and dependency help

Alexander Maki, Joseph A. Vitriol, Patrick C. Dwyer, John S. Kim, Mark Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research on helping behavior distinguishes between giving recipients the tools to solve problems for themselves (autonomy-oriented help) and direct solutions not requiring recipients' involvement (dependency-oriented help). Across three studies, we examined whether individuals can be characterized by dispositional propensities toward offering autonomy-oriented and/or dependency-oriented help. In initial studies, factor analyses revealed the two hypothesized Helping Orientations Inventory scales along with an additional scale capturing opposition to helping, all acceptable in internal consistency and test–retest reliability (Studies 1a–1c). Next, we found that the three scales related in distinct ways to constructs from the intergroup (e.g., social dominance orientation) and interpersonal (e.g., empathic concern) helping literatures (Studies 1d and 1e). Additionally, these orientations predicted satisfaction with volunteer behavior (Study 2) and interest in future volunteering (Study 3). Overall, people vary in their helping orientations, and these orientations implicate a range of variables relevant to intergroup and interpersonal helping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-693
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Volume47
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords

  • autonomy
  • empathy
  • helping
  • intergroup relations
  • prosocial behavior

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