Priming emotion concepts and helping behavior: How unlived emotions can influence action

Lubomir Lamy1, Jacques Fischer-Lokou2, Nicolas Guéguen3
1Social Psychology, University of South Paris, France
2Department of Social Sciences, Université de Bretagne-Sud, France
3Department of Social Sciences, University of South Brittany, France
Cite this article:  Lamy, L., Fischer-Lokou, J., & Guéguen, N. (2012). Priming emotion concepts and helping behavior: How unlived emotions can influence action. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 40, 55-62.

Volume 40 Issue 1 | e2387 | Published: January 2012 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2012.40.1.55

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In a field setting, participants (N = 227) were primed with 1 of 3 concepts: love (positive valence), distress (negative valence), or solidarity (positive valence). Participants were then asked to give money to help hospitalized children. Results indicated that the inducing of love triggered more helpfulness than the inducing of solidarity or of distress. This finding is explained in light of the emotion schemas theory (Izard, 2007), the gender role theory of helping (Eagly & Crowley, 2006), and affective influences on information-processing strategies (Berkowitz, 2000).
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