Prosocial behaviors in urban context
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Description: We analyzed prosocial behaviors in a field experiment (N=307) conducted in an urban context (Timisoara, Banat region, Romania), starting from a classical Cross-Cultural Psychology research organized in UK and Iran by Collet & O'Shea in 1976. If the evoked study is focused on comparing prosocial behaviors in two very different national cultures (UK vs. Iran), we compared helping strangers strategies within the same national culture in relation to the regional identities of the help-seeking subjects. A behavioral scenario was created by asking naïve participants to offer support and give directions to a place even if they did not know its whereabouts. Drawing on social identity theory, it was tested whether regional belonging of the help-seeker (in-group vs. out-group) predicts the availability of help-givers for offering help, their availability for giving wrong directions, as well as their emotional expressiveness. Results are interpreted within the perspective of social distance between groups and show that the more distant regional identities are perceived to be, the less generous help-givers are, both in terms of their decision to help and to give wrong directions, as well as in their expressed emotions.