Empathy and generalized reciprocity in compliance with requests for help
This study examined empathy and reciprocity as explanations for why people comply with requests for help. Participants (35 male and 62 female) imagined being asked for money by a person who had locked keys in a car and then reported how likely they would he to comply with such a request, whether they had previously locked their keys in their car (empathy), and, if so, whether they had been helped (reciprocity). In support of the explanation based on empathy, people who reported previously locking their keys in their cars indicated being more likely to comply.
*Allsop, K., *Fifield, K., & Seiter, J. S. (2002). Empathy and generalized reciprocity in compliance with requests for help. Psychological Reports, 91, 241-242.