Positive Mood Boosts Helping

Collection type: Single effect Multi-method Multi-lab Replications 3

Collection contains 3 replications of the positive-mood-boosts-helping effect across 2 methods.

Last updated by: chiefeditor 2 days ago Edit Collection

Forest plots

Replications 3

Original Studies & Replications Effect size (Risk Difference) [95% CI]
Effect #1 Method #1: Positive mood (finding dime in telephone booth) boosts helping (picking up dropped papers)
Isen & Levin (1972) Study 2
Blevins & Murphy (1974)
Effect #1 Method #2: Positive mood (finding dime in telephone booth) boosts helping (mailing "forgotten letter")
Levin & Isen (1975) Study 1
Weyant & Clark (1977) Study 2
Weyant & Clark (1977) Study 1
Current meta-analytic estimate of Effect #1 Method #2 replications:

Summary: The claim that positive mood boosts helping appears to have replicability problems. Across three replications, individuals presumably in a positive mood (induced via finding a dime in a telephone booth) helped at about the same rate (29.6%) as those not finding a dime (29.8%; meta-analytic risk difference estimate = .03 [+/-.19]; in original studies, 88.8% of dime-finding Ps helped compared to 13.9% of Ps in the control condition). This was the case whether helping was measured via picking up dropped papers (Blevins & Murphy, 1974 as in Isen & Levin, 1972, Study 2) or via mailing a "forgotten letter" (Weyant & Clark, 1977 Study 1 & 2 as in Levin & Isen, 1975, Study 1). These negative replication results are insufficient to declare the mood-helping link as unreplicable, however, they do warrant concern that perhaps additional unmodeled factors should be considered. For instance, it seems plausible that mood may influence helping in different ways for different individuals (e.g., negative, rather than positive, mood may boost helping in some individuals), and may also influence the same person differently on different occasions. Using highly-repeated within-person (HRWP) designs (e.g., Whitsett & Shoda, 2014) would be a fruitful avenue to empirically investigate these more plausible links between mood and helping behavior.



Replication Details

Replications 3

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