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2p30 march 26.docx

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Brock University
Gordon Hodson

2P30 March 26 Pro-social Behaviour - Definitions - Evolutionary basis of altruism - Empathy-altruism hypothesis - Situational Factors o Urban vs. rural o Common fate o Bystander - Intergroup Helping Definitions: - Pro-social Behaviour o Any act performed with the goal of benefiting another person (or society as a whole) - Altruism o Desire to help others, even if it involves a cost to the helped Evolutionary Bases a. Group selection a. Individual organisms behave altruistically for the good of the species? b. Not evolutionary stable to do this; people who do the good acts for the group will eventually be weeded out b. Kin selection (inclusive fitness) a. Hamilton (1964) i. Behaviours that help genetic relatives is favoured by natural selection (i.e. they get “passed on”) b. What matters in evolution is whether your genes survive, not who carries those genes (Richard Dawkins- The Selfish Gene) c. The closer you are to a person, the more likely you are to risk your own safety to protect them d. Webster et al. (2008) i. Examined estate wills in Canada ii. Result: more likely to leave more money to genetic relatives 1. Genetic relatedness is extremely important e. Kin altruism i. Premise: if we are related, I help you ii. Outcome: my genes get passed on c. Reciprocity a. We also help unrelated others b. “One good turn deserves another” c. Reciprocal altruism i. Premise: we are unrelated, but we help each other out ii. Outcome: my genes get passed on d. Learning social norms a. Cultures learn, pass down information b. Can ability to learn social norms be passed down genetically? Empathy-Altruism - Empathy o Experience events and emotion (e.g. joy, sadness) as another person experiences - Help others to help self? o Helping other to ease our own distress (Dovidio et al., 2991) - Or... empathy-altruism hypothesis o Empathy – helping for altruistic reasons; regardless of gains or helping self - Toi & Batson (1982) o Learn of classmate (“Carol”) was hurt in a care accident; in wheelchair, couldn’t come to class o Question: Will Ps help her? o Independent variable 1: empathy  Low (be objective), or  High (imagine Carol’s feelings) o Independent variable 2: “cost” to participant  Low (she will never come to class)  High (she will come to class next week; i.e. she is inescapable, she’ll know if you don’t help her) o Results:  When Ps were instructed to be objective, help Carol regardless of whether they’ll see her again  If there’s such a thing of “true altruism”, this is it  Helping her even if there was no social cost to them  Ps were twice as likely to not help Carol if there were no social costs to them (i.e. they don’t have to see her in class) Situational Factors - Urban vs. Rural settings o Generally speaking, research finds that people help more in rural areas  This could be a result of many factors, including to genetic related people around you (in urban vs. rural areas),  Urban Overload Hypothesis  In cities, we are bombarded with stimulation, therefore we keep to ourselves to avoid overload - Common Fate o Catastrophes can bring us closer together (i.e. Hurricane Katrina)  “we’re all in this together” type of thought  Question: Desire to do good, to reverse the sense of negativity or lack of control? - Number of Bystanders o Kitty Genovese  Woman who was brutally murdered outside of her apartment  Attack lasted 45 minutes; attacker took his time in her murder  38 people witnessed the attack but did nothing to help; did not even call the police  Bystander apathy- caused by a diffusion of responsibility o Manning et. al. (2007)  Question the legitimacy of the standard Kitty Genovese story  Facts in question: o Were there 38 witnesses? o Did they remain inactive?  Concluded: grossly overstated “facts” Intergroup Helping - Costello & Hodson (2011, Study 1) o N= 120 Canadian participants (Brock University) o Social dominance orientation; believing that some groups of people are higher in dominance than others o Manipulated group threat (editorial)  Realistic (tangible threat)  i.e. taking jobs/needing financial support, spreading diseases, (e.g. AIDS, Hepatitis B) require health care  Symbolic (value/culture threat, non-tangible)  i.e. language barriers, worship tribal gods, poor work ethic  Control (basic immigrant information)  i.e. basic information on “Sandirians”, a fictitious group of immigrants o Dependent Variables: helping immigrants o Findings:  Type of threat that immigrants posed did not seem to matte
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