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Negative-State Relief Model

Definition

The negative-state relief (NSR) model is a theory that attempts to describe how one situational factor—sadness—relates to the willingness to help others. Specifically, this theory predicts that at least under certain circumstances, a temporary feeling of sadness is likely to result in an increased willingness to help others. For example, a person who is sad because a close friend just cancelled a planned visit would be more likely to help a stranger push his or her car out of a snow bank. Why would a sad mood lead to an increased willingness to help others? According to this theory, this is for selfish reasons. Specifically, people have been socialized in such a way that they are rewarded for helping other people. Over time, people internalize ...

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