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Title: A comparative study of attitudes to giving and accepting help
Author: Fuhlbohm, Margaret
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1973
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The research was intended to explore people's attitudes to the social transaction of giving and receiving help in situations of practical and material need, to assess their willingness to give and to accept help in defined situations, and to record the circumstances which they considered to be important in deciding whether to give and to accept help. The survey was conducted in a village in Norwegian Lapland where interesting developments in this field were said to be taking place. A class of students at the local Youth School was invited to respond in writing to a series of need situations presented as a tape-recorded projection test. The same test, illustrated with a film-strip, was used as the basis of intensive tape-recorded interviews with selected individual adult villagers. The results of the tests indicated that the subjects tested were not such rare givers nor such cheerful receivers as popular tradition held the Lapps to be. A great variety of circumstances influenced them in their decisions. Sympathy, and a strong sense of obligation to help in some situations, were the main reasons for giving. Decisions to accept or reject help were considerably influenced by the urgency of the need, by the benefits which would result from accepting, and "by the wish and obligation to be independent and self-sufficient. There were wide individual variations in willingness to give and accept help, and in the influence of the circumstances of the test situations on the decisions made. Instead of the expected inverse correlation between giving and accepting, various combinations of willingness to give and to accept were observed which reflected the different personalities and attitudes. It was found that none of the current theories on giving and receiving was sufficient to account for all the attitudes revealed, though each was relevant upon occasion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social Psychology