Envy and Help Giving

Ronit Montal-Rosenberg, Simone Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In this research, we explored and demonstrated a relatively implicit and covert means of undermining envied targets—namely, helping them in a way that retains their future dependence, rather than in a way that increases their autonomy. In four studies, we varied our envy manipulations, measured the extent to which these manipulations trigger malicious motivations, and examined the consequences in terms of intended (Studies 1–2) and actual (Studies 3–4) helping behaviors. In Study 4, we also measured and tested the role of individual differences in terms of proneness to malicious versus benign envy. Taken together, our findings suggest that the extent to which envy toward superior versus neutral peers activates malicious motivations negatively impacts peoples’ willingness to provide these superior peers with help, particularly with autonomous help.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-243
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Autonomous help
  • Cooperation
  • Envy
  • Social comparison

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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