The real study was to see what the
subjects thought of the asshole
researcher after doing him a favor. The questionnaire asked how much they liked him on a scale from 1 to 12. On average, those who got to leave with their money rated him as a 5.8. The ones who did the secretary a favor gave him a 4.4. The ones who did the researcher a favor gave him a 7.2, suggesting the Benjamin Franklin Effect made them like him far more than the other two groups.
The ones he had to ask showed empathy, they understood him being a jerk, that he was human enough to talk to them about his problems, that they could help.