ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2015, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (8): 1050-1057.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.01050

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The Effects of Self-other Overlap on Helping Behavior: Moderating of Perspective Taking

ZHONG Yiping; YANG Zilu; FAN Wei   

  1. (Hunan Key Laboratory of Cognition and Human Behavior and Department of Educational Science,
    Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, China)
  • Received:2014-06-17 Published:2015-08-25 Online:2015-08-25
  • Contact: ZHONG Yiping, E-mail:


The relationship between perspective taking and helping behavior has always been the focus research within the fields of development psychology and social psychology. The previous research shows that perspective taking not only positively correlates to helping behaviors but also deepen the self-other overlap. Besides, effects of self-other overlap is short of being considered during the similar researches. Therefore, this thesis, through two experiments, studies self-other overlap and perspective taking as well as their effects on helping behavior. Experiment 1, a single-factor two-level within groups design, studies the different influences of high and low self-other overlap on helping behavior. Seventy university students (including 48 male, 22 female; mean age = 18.83) participated in the experiment and they were given a reward. Results show that the higher level of self-other overlap leads to the more obvious helping behavior, it means that the more we are intimate and similar, the more we are willing to help others. Experiment 2, a two-factor mixed design, studies what and how perspective taking and self-other overlap influence helping behavior. Sixty eight university students (including 27 male, 41 female; mean age = 18.97) were divided into two groups, which group had thirty four participants, and everyone had normal or corrected-to-normal version. Results prove the main effect of perspective taking and self-other overlap level are significant, the interactive effect of perspective taking and self-other overlap level is significant. To sum up, these results prove that self-other overlap have a significant effect on helping behavior, and perspective taking moderates the effect of self-other overlap on helping behavior.

Key words: self, perspective taking, self-other overlap, helping behavior, willingness degree