Coupal, Alain Marcel (1982) A study of helping behavior between French and English individuals in Canada. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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This research was concerned with the influence of the cultural identity of a person on the level of help received. Two experiments were conducted. In the first experiment two experimenters, one French and one English, randomly selected subjects from the streets of 2 cities and 8 towns in New Brunswick and Quebec. Three hundred and eighty-four people were selected. They were asked questions about their language usage and about their place of residence. The dependent measure of helping was the willingness of the people to spend 15 to 20 minutes answering the questions. Subjects were adults, males or females, by themselves, getting out of a car. To be included as subjects they had to 1) speak either French or English most often at home, 2) live in the locale in which the interview was conducted, and 3) have the same home language as the majority for the location. The second experiment had the same independent variables but used a non-reactive dependent measure, the lost letter technique. To represent cultural identity, letters bearing either French or English adresses where lost in the same areas were the interviews took place. The results of the live interviews were not as anticipated, i.e., there was neither ingroup favoritism nor equal level of help for both experiments. The English experimenter obtained more help than the French from both populations and also obtained significantly more help from the English population than from the French population. The French experimenter received significantly less help overall and for him there were no significant differences between the populations. A number of possible explanations are proposed for these results. The first ones are methodological. Since only one experimenter of each cultural identity was used the personality effects were weakly controlled. The experimenters might also have applied, differentially, the sampling procedure. A second reason is a cultural one. It could be that both populations perceived the English as a higher status person. Urban size influence the level of help differentially, the French population was more helpful in cities, the English population in towns. For equally urbanized populations this particular pattern in hard to explain. The lost letter technique failed to provide significant results. This was probably because the control over the cultural identity of the subjects was weak. The difficulty of arriving at a strict definition of cultural identity and of finding representative members of each identity (French or English) are proposed for the equivocal results.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Bibliography: leaves 87-93.|
|Department(s):||Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
|Library of Congress Subject Heading:||Helping behavior; Altruism; Canada--English-French relations|
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