Helping helps you

Have you ever thought about why people help each other?

One reason could be, that not being able to help makes you feel bad, because helping may be a basic psychological need. This study by Tivota and Sheldon discusses how being prevented to help has negative consequences. They conducted three studies to show that, not only does helping have a positive effect but also, not being able to help has a negative effect on your well-being. The studies are all quite similar, therefore this will be focused on the second study. For this study the researchers assigned 237 students to one of two conditions, the first one being a situation where they intend to help a person and succeed and the second one being that they intend to help a person but witness them being helped by someone else. After that they answered a questionnaire to assess their positive affect, their negative affect and their basic psychological need satifaction. They found that acting on your intention to help increases your positive affect and not being able to help increases your negative affect. On top of that they hypothesized that being helpful may be a basic psychological need which couldn´t be confirmed but it´s a possibility when looking at the results.

The main thing to learn from this? The next time someone asks to help you, say yes, it´s not only good for you it´s also good for them.

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