People systematically underestimate how positively recipients will respond to social support, study finds
Have you ever given a stranger a compliment in passing? If you have, they probably appreciated more than you would think. A study published in Psychological Science suggests that people severely underestimate how positively recipients feel about receiving support.카지노사이트
Social support is an integral part of a balanced and healthy life. It can have profound effects of well-being by making the recipient feeling important, loved, and cared for by others. It can even improve physical health in some cases. Despite the benefits, many people hesitate to reach out due to being unsure about how the other person will react. People may fear a negative or indifferent reaction, as well as believe their offer of social support will not have any significant impact. This study seeks to better understand the potential gap between perceived and experienced benefits for the recipient.
For their research, James A. Dungan and colleagues conducted four studies to test their hypotheses. Study 1 tested expectations and interest in expressing support. Dungan and colleagues collected data through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and utilized a sample of 100 participants. Participants were asked to identify five people who may be going through a difficult time that they could express support to, why they thought the person needed support, and how they would feel providing that support.
In Study 2, Dungan and colleagues tested messages of support by utilizing a sample of 120 University of Chicago students, asked them to identify a person on campus that they believed could use their social support, and had them write an email expressing support. Participants rated how they believed the recipient would feel receiving it, and it was sent anonymously to the recipient. The recipients were asked to complete a survey about the experience of receiving the supportive email.
Study 3 measured in-person support and utilized 50 pairs of strangers from the Chicago area to participate. Participants were told to introduce themselves to each other and then put in separate rooms to complete an online survey. Recipients described a difficulty they were facing, and expressers read it. Participants were put back together, and expressers were told to do their best to express support.
Study 4 measured differing perspectives on support and utilized 300 participants recruited online to complete an online survey. Participants were told to complete a survey from the perspective of someone expressing or receiving support. They were told to vividly imagine what it would be like to provide or receive support and answered measures on how it felt.
Results across the studies showed that even when people could recognize that someone needed social support, there were high levels of hesitation to providing it due to expectations and misconceptions around how the support would be received and responded to. This mismatch seemed to come from people who are considering providing support focusing on the competency aspect of how their support may come off, while recipients focused primarily on how warm or kind it was.
“Whether facing a global pandemic or dealing with life’s tribulations, people rely on support from others to manage adversity. Our studies suggest that even when people recognize that support is needed, they may be overly reluctant to express it because they hold miscalibrated expectations of their recipients’ response,” the researchers explained.온라인카지노
Additionally, the relationship between the provider and the recipient was a big factor, as many providers did not feel it was helpful or appropriate to provide support to acquaintances or strangers. Contrary to this, results showed that in Study 3, participants received positive benefits from getting support from a complete stranger in a lab setting. Overall, results point to a significant mismatch and suggest that social support is more appreciated than many realize.
This study took important steps toward better understanding how social support feels from both giver and recipient. Despite this, there are limitations to note. One such limitation is that the population was all from the US and consisted of people who answered online ads for participants. Future research could target people experiencing significant distress to see if they benefit as much.
“Each day offers opportunities to reach out and show some form of support, however large or small, to a person in need,” Dungan and colleagues concluded. “Our experiments suggest that undervaluing the positive impact of expressing support could create a psychological barrier to expressing it more often. Withholding support because of misguided fears of saying or doing the wrong thing could leave both recipients and expressers of support less happy than they could be. Understanding how these psychological barriers restrain prosocial behavior could help to encourage more routine expressions of social support, to everyone’s benefit.”
The study, “Too Reluctant to Reach Out: Receiving social Support Is More Positive Than Expressers Expect“, was authored by James Dungan, David Munguia Gomez, and Nicholas Epley.바카라사이트