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Pseudoinefficacy: negative feelings from children who cannot be helped reduce warm glow for children who can be helped
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Decis Research, OR USA.
Decis Research, OR USA; University of Oregon, OR 97403 USA.
Decis Research, OR USA; University of Oregon, OR 97403 USA.
2015 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 6, no 616Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In a great many situations where we are asked to aid persons whose lives are endangered, we are not able to help everyone. What are the emotional and motivational consequences of not helping all? In a series of experiments, we demonstrate that negative affect arising from children that could not be helped decreases the warm glow of positive feeling associated with aiding the children who can be helped. This demotivation from the children outside of our reach may be a form of pseudoinefficacy that is non-rational. We should not be deterred from helping whomever we can because there are others we are not able to help.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers , 2015. Vol. 6, no 616
Keyword [en]
pseudoinefficacy; affect integration; singularity effect; prosocial behavior; psychic numbing; compassion
National Category
Basic Medicine
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-119802DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00616ISI: 000355474300001PubMedID: 26042058OAI: diva2:827218

Funding Agencies|U.S. National Science Foundation [SES-1227729, SES-1427414]; Swedish Research Council

Available from: 2015-06-26 Created: 2015-06-26 Last updated: 2015-06-26

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Västfjäll, Daniel
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