Achievement arousal inhibits helping behavior only in males

Glynis Bean, Alice H Eagly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The experiment reported here tested the hypothesis that achievement arousal inhibits the helping behavior of males but not females. Subjects were given 20 minutes to work on a task while faced with an opportunity to help a graduate student by stapling questionnaires. Performance on the task was described in the high-achievement-arousal condition as assessing intelligence and leadership ability, and in the no-achievement-arousal condition as merely yielding research data on processing verbal information. Males proved significantly more likely to help in the no-achievement-arousal condition than in the high-arousal condition, whereas females'helping was not affected by achievement-arousal. Yet, consistent with other research on helping, the majority of both male and female subjects did not help at all.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-394
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
StatePublished - 1984


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