Effects of Threats to Self-Esteem and Goal Orientation on Asking for Help
This paper studied whether threats to self-esteem and goal orientation affected an individual?s propensity to ask for help. Eighty-two undergraduate students from the University of Waterloo completed a self-esteem and goal orientation questionnaire in addition to completing two tests. One test was designed to be more self-relevant than the other, making that test more potentially threatening to an individual?s self-esteem. In each test, subjects were given the opportunity to ask for help on each question. The results show that the use of social comparison motivates individuals to engage in self-protection by reducing their willingness to ask for help. In situations where many others had asked for help, help seeking behavior increased. These results extend other research in showing the impact of social comparison on individual behaviour.