Investing in Karma: When Wanting Promotes Helping

Authors: Benjamin Converse, A., Risen, J. L., & Carter, T. J.

People often face outcomes of important events that are beyond their personal control, such as when they wait for an acceptance letter, job offer, or medical test results. We suggest that when wanting and uncertainty are high and personal control is lacking, people may be more likely to help others, as if they can encourage fate’s favor by doing good deeds proactively. 

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Instrumentality boosts appreciation: Helpers are more appreciated while they are useful

Authors: Benjamin Converse, A. Fishbach

We propose that in social interactions, appreciation depends on the helper’s instrumentality: The more motivated one is to accomplish a goal and the more one perceives a potential helper as able to facilitate that goal, the more appreciation one will feel for that helper. Three experiments support this instrumentality-boost hypothesis by showing that beneficiaries feel more appreciation for their helpers while they are receiving help toward an ongoing task than after that task has been completed or after the helper has been deemed no longer instrumental. 

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