People are less likely to help when they have been ostracized, or when they are in the presence of bystanders. In the current manuscript we test both these influences simultaneously. We postulated two opposing hypotheses: first, helping decreases after ostracism, even when intervention is already less likely due to bystander presence. Second, the bystander effect could be reversed, as helping may benefit one’s reputation, especially in the presence of others. After playing Cyberball to manipulate ostracism, participants could help others on either a crowded or empty internet forum. In support of the first hypothesis, we found two main effects: replicating the bystander effect, the presence of others diminished helping. Moreover, ostracism diminished helping, even in the presence of others.
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