2020 Volume 36 Issue 2 Pages 39-48
Repeated help-seeking from the same helper produces gradually stronger hesitation. Therefore, switching helpers in one’s social network could be an effective strategy. We conducted an online experiment to examine whether people feel less stressed if they switch helpers in a repeated help-seeking situation. After reading a vignette about a stressful situation (depression or unemployment), participants judged the level of stress and chose a helper in their social network. Participants then received feedback that the situation had not improved even after help had been given and repeated the choice five times. The results showed that participants perceived lower stress in both depression and unemployment situations if they sought help from a greater number of helpers after controlling for social network size and diversity of helpers. The effectiveness of switching helpers and its mechanisms are discussed.