Two studies investigated the experience of obtaining aid. It was hypothesized that attributing need for aid to internal factors would be self-esteem threatening and that under such conditions actively seeking aid would be more aversive than passively accepting aid. No difference in aversiveness was expected when the need was externally attributed. In Experiment 1, subjects sought less aid when need was internally attributed than when it was externally attributed. In Experiment 2, subjects obtained less aid when they had to seek it than when they could passively accept it, and they obtained less aid when need was internally attributed than when it was externally attributed. The expected interaction between these variables emerged only among persons high in dispositional self-consciousness.
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