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Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Trimble, Joseph E.
Hoffman, Joan M.
Male and female participants in four cities across Southern and Northern Spain were approached by a male tourist-confederate and were given an opportunity to act in a helpful or unhelpful manner. The factor of interest was similarity to the helper, which was manipulated via spoken language (English vs. Spanish) and soccer team affiliation (in-group vs. out-group jersey). To investigate anti-American sentiment, confederate nationality (American or Canadian) was also manipulated. Prosocial behavior was operationally defined as granting use of a cell phone to a lost tourist. Consistent with the similarity hypothesis, it was found that conditions in which the confederate was most similar to the participant (Spanish speakers wearing in-group jerseys) elicited the highest rate of helping, whereas conditions in which he was least similar (English speakers wearing out-group jerseys) elicited the lowest rate of helping. As hypothesized, there were no observed treatment differences between Canadians and Americans.
Western Washington University
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Nelson, Reid A. (Reid Anders), "Effects of similarity and tourist status on prosocial behavior: a field study in Spain" (2009). WWU Graduate School Collection. 23.