While research continues in all these areas, other questions also attract interest. Studies of people's responses to others' physical distress have been extended by research on how people respond to someone in psychological distress. Similarly, researchers have extended their interests in the potential helper to examine how the person in need of help is affected by seeking and receiving it.
Also important in understanding helping behavior has been the study of personality and how individuals differ in their tendency to help. Some of this work is related to research on norms, in that it looks at whether people develop a personal set of rules or standards which govern their helping behavior. Another approach, adopted by Margaret Clark and Judson Mills, has looked at how the relationship between the help requester and the help giver influences helpfulness. Research on helping now incorporates many different influences on the helping process, from individual to social to developmental factors. In the process, the applicability of the research findings has grown and has given rise to a broader understanding of the types of helping behavior that may occur, when they may occur, who might engage in them, and why.
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