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Vol. 31 (2015) No. 1 p. 35-45




In general, the norm of reciprocity is assumed to be a facilitating factor in helping behavior. However, excessive help-seeking combined with insufficient contribution to others would be perceived as a selfish, free-riding deviation. To avoid this negative evaluation, people who feel they have a low sense of contribution (the subjective feeling of one’s contribution to others’ well-being) might be more reluctant to seek help. Thus, it was hypothesized that sense of contribution will be positively associated with help-seeking tendencies. It was also hypothesized that positive associations between sense of contribution and help-seeking will be amplified by recognition of the norm of reciprocity in groups; that is, greater pressure regarding the norm of reciprocity in groups means less help-seeking from those whose sense of contribution is low, and greater help-seeking from those whose sense of contribution is high. To examine these hypotheses, 500 Japanese adults completed an Internet survey regarding occupational relationships. Both hypotheses were supported.

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