SAGE Journal Articles

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Chen, J.M., Kim, H.S., Mojaverian, T., & Morling, B. (2012). Culture and social support provision: Who gives what and why. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 3-13.  DOI:  10.1177/0146167211427309

Summary: There are two different ways in which people commonly provide support to others: emotion-focused coping and problem-focused. The current research reveals how cultural norms affect people’s motivation to use different types of support, revealing the necessity of research examining the cultural context in which the supportive behaviors occur.

Questions to consider:

  1. Describe the two different types of support; that is, problem-focused and emotion-focused.
  2. Provide information regarding the way culture might affect motivations to more frequently use one type of support rather than another.  
  3. Which additional measure was included in Study 2 that was not included in Study 1? Why did the researchers include this measure?
  4. Discuss the results of each study as they relate to European American and Japanese participants.
  5. Why is cultural contextualization important in research studies measuring supportive behaviors?


Levine, M., Prosser, A., Evans, D., & Reicher, S. (2005). Identity and emergency intervention: How social group membership and inclusiveness of group boundaries shape helping behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 443-453.  DOI: 10.1177/0146167204271651

Summary: The current study examines the way in which social group membership, or lack thereof, plays a role in the decision to help victims during emergency situations.

Questions to consider:

  1. Discuss the effect that social group membership has on the decision to help both outgroup victims and ingroup victims.
  2. Explain the role that social group salience plays in one’s decision whether or not to help an outgroup victim.
  3. Based on this study, who is most likely to be helped in an emergency situation?