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  A New Standardized Stimulus Set for Studying Need-of-Help Recognition (NeoHelp)

Brielmann, A., & Stolarova, M. (2014). A New Standardized Stimulus Set for Studying Need-of-Help Recognition (NeoHelp). PLoS One, 9(1), 1-16. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084373.

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Brielmann, AA1, Author           
Stolarova, M, Author
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1External Organizations, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: This article presents the NeoHelp visual stimulus set created to facilitate investigation of need-of-help recognition with clinical and normative populations of different ages, including children. Need-of-help recognition is one aspect of socioemotional development and a necessary precondition for active helping. The NeoHelp consists of picture pairs showing everyday situations: The first item in a pair depicts a child needing help to achieve a goal; the second one shows the child achieving the goal. Pictures of birds in analogue situations are also included. These control stimuli enable implementation of a human-animal categorization task which serves to separate behavioral correlates specific to need-of-help recognition from general differentiation processes. It is a concern in experimental research to ensure that results do not relate to systematic perceptual differences when comparing responses to categories of different content. Therefore, we not only derived the NeoHelp-pictures within a pair from one another by altering as little as possible, but also assessed their perceptual similarity empirically. We show that NeoHelp-picture pairs are very similar regarding low-level perceptual properties across content categories. We obtained data from 60 children in a broad age range (4 to 13 years) for three different paradigms, in order to assess whether the intended categorization and differentiation could be observed reliably in a normative population. Our results demonstrate that children can differentiate the pictures' content regarding both need-of-help category as well as species as intended in spite of the high perceptual similarities. We provide standard response characteristics (hit rates and response times) that are useful for future selection of stimuli and comparison of results across studies. We show that task requirements coherently determine which aspects of the pictures influence response characteristics. Thus, we present NeoHelp, the first open-access standardized visual stimuli set for investigation of need-of-help recognition and invite researchers to use and extend it.

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 Dates: 2014-01
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: eDoc: e84373
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084373
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Title: PLoS One
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: San Francisco, CA : Public Library of Science
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 9 (1) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1 - 16 Identifier: ISSN: 1932-6203
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1000000000277850