A field experiment was conducted to explore the relationship between two known determinants of helpfulness (cost of helping and dependency of other) and predecisional communication behavior. Male undergraduates were contacted by telephone and asked to volunteer for a survey study. The caller was either very dependent or less dependent on the subject for help. The survey was described as taking 3 hours (high cost), 1 hour (moderate cost), or 20 minutes (low cost). Following the request for aid, the information seeking and information giving behavior of the subject was coded. As anticipated, the greatest information giving was elicited from non‐helpers, especially among subjects in the high cost‐high dependency condition. Path analysis of the data indicated a causal sequence in which information giving mediated the effects of cost on decision to help. The findings were discussed in terms of Schwartz's (1975) model of normative behavior.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Human Communication Research|
|State||Published - Mar 1976|