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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Bernhard Leidner

Subject Categories

Social Psychology


Intergroup helping is sometimes motivated by paternalistic narratives about recipients being incapable of making good choices. Five studies investigated whether paternalistic perceptions of recipients encouraged members of groups that provide help expect gratitude from recipients, and whether receiving gratitude and affirmation from recipients was rewarded when it was given. I first found preliminary evidence that paternalistic perceptions of recipients affects the way that members of a helper group respond to recipients’ responses to help (Study 1). I then found that believing paternalistic narratives about recipients did increase participants' expectations that recipients should show them gratitude, and that these expectations did contribute to participants' responses to critical (vs. grateful) feedback from recipients and desire to help in the future (Studies 2a and 2b). I also found that information claiming that recipients are incapable - both presented directly in the form of a fictitious aid official's opinion (Study 3) and indirectly in the form of information about the helping relationship (Study 4) - caused participants to expect more gratitude than if they were told that recipients were highly capable of managing their own affairs. Together, these findings suggest that paternalism creates a sense of entitlement in intergroup helping that influences the way that relationship is judged by members of the helper group.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.