PSYC 215 Lecture Notes - Reciprocal Altruism, Milgram Experiment, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
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PSYC 215 – March 13th, 15th, 20th, 22nd, and 27th, 2012
- Behaviour intended for the common good
- Behaviour that promotes harmonious social functioning
o From the book
o Conformity and norms help us come to consensus to determine how social groups exist.
o Need harmonious behavior to make things happen
- Conformity, obedience
o Cast in negative light – ex: Milgram experiment
o Obey when we shouldn’t behave
o OUR AUTHOR – says need obey commands of superiors to develop social norm/function.
- Rules of law
- Rules of the road
o People who do these 3 things are engaging prosocial behaviour
- Across cultures, there appears to be a norm that one is obliged to pay back in kind what one has received
o In interpersonal interactions, there isa give and ake. Invest, and expect return on our investment
o When someone does something nice for you, it sets up a debt. When you are the recipient, you
feel need/pressure to repay at least in kind the deposit of gesture.
- Receiving help creates a “debt” that must be repaid
- Some disadvantaged groups refuse help due to their perceived inability to pay back
o Minorities/elderly – can’t repay therefore don’t want help
o Tension of the debt
- Equity – receiving benefits in proportion to what one has contributed
o Economic model
o Invest in relationships with other people but we expect payback for that.
o Reciprocity – do something nice for you, do it for me. For EQUITY - Not important though to
do EXACTLY what I did for you, but as long as it has the same worth (returned in kind) – it’s
o Investment in rltsp as the equity that they have brought to the rltsp
- Equality – everyone gets the same amount
o Everyone gets the same thing in EQUALITY.
- Negative feelings toward people who take more tan they contribute
- Negative feelings when one feels that one is not contributing to the social unit (ex: feeling useless)
o Ex: individuals acquired health conditions limiting ability to perform in society, role as
parent/spouse/neighbour is limited. Have contribution need to make but CAN’T – feel negative
- So there is a pressure for things to be equitable in interpersonal relationships
Violations of Justice Norm
Violation of your belief leads you to abandon your belief, now start to believe situation as unjust – this
has negative reprucussions
- Excessive focus on loss
o Ex: go home tonight, and there’s a note on fridge saying partner has left you for your best friend.
They’re gone and taken all your CDs, car, and the cat. Gone out west. Note says “it’s not you,
it’s me, but couldn’t take it anymore, i’m gone. Been in love for 1yr, but now i couldn’t hold
Will experience situation as unfair – thinking about investment you put in, betrayal of
trust experienced and the subsequent loss living. Chances are, when try to slee at night,
will have troubles – mind will go over situation continuously. Sometimes you’ll be
devastated, othertimes livid. Focusing at times on everything you’ve lost as a function of
this – all time wasted. Nice thing you did for partner over year as complete waste. Pangs
More that you tread into domain of justice themes, more the negative feelings will change
from sadness/depression to anger. Then start thinking about how to retaliate for your
o Go see psychologist – “learn to live with it/let it go”. But not NOW?! First – damage has to be
DONE! When he has suffered, then I will let it go.
o Feeling when we’ve suffered an injustice, that the perpertraitor of the injustice has to pay a price
if we can be released of the clutches of our perception of injustice.
Perceptions of injustice following injury – Sullivan’s study
- Following debilitating accident/injury/health progression – the more you feel it is unjust, the worse your
- What’s the theme weaving negative sentences? It’s the theme of justice – they feel situation is unjust.
Sustained severe, permanent loss, nothing able to be undone to undo the damage.
- Mostly car accidents in this study.
- “I don’t deserve...”
o Don’t experience feelings of injustice as conscious. As person talks to you, the more you
imagine them finishing this sentence “...”, the more they are experiencing feelings of injustice.
- Injustice as undeserved loss
o Doesn’t mean material loss, can be loss of function, loss of quality of life (constant pain)
o Loss of security, loss of enjoyment
- “justice is produced in the sou, like health in the body, whereas injustice is like disease and means that
the natural order is subverted”
o Injustice takes root in your psyche, and stays there.
o If think of all things that were unjust in your life, you can’t let them go.
- “justice demands that where there is an offence, there must be satisfaction. Satisfaction must be made
by the offender, and it must be a recompense which is equal and opposite to the offence”
o Saint Anselm of Cantebury
o Have to do back to them what they did to you.
- In early days of legal system , if they did something bad to you (stole and ate your donkey), they felt like
people couldn’t run around feeling they wanted revenge of people! So we give them a sense of justice.
So we tie that guy up and whip him to teach the lesson. Recognition that this had to happen, and had to
o There were problems with whipping... so we don’t anymore. So for the most part, we have a
justice system that tried to deal with undeserved losses by giving you money! So if you feel that
you have had significant loss (not criminal event, so can’t go to jail), they can only give you
money. That’s to a large degree how our legal system tries to deal with injustice today.
o Lose leg (amputation) – give money, make situation not feel as bad.
o For most people, this works. Most perceived injustices (sustain debilitating injuries), this is
okay. Addresses internal scale of injustice. But not all people. Even inspite of some financial
compensation, they still feel significant loss.
- PAPER – Role of perceived injustice in experience of chronic pain and disability.
o No measures before this paper – developed an “injustice experience questionnaire”
o Sex differences in perceived injustice
Men perceive more injustice than women
Men have greater sense of entitlement – so experience loss more significantly. Perhaps
losses for men are greater than that of women.
o Perceptions of injustice are highly coordinated with catastrophizing.
Focus on pain symptom
Maginifcation of the threat of pain
Increased emotional distress
PERCEIVED INJUSTICECATASTROPHIZINGPAIN OUTCOMES
Maybe it’s through catastrophizing that injustice has its impact on pain
o Assess people as come in from whiplash injuries.
Pain, PTSD symptom
PCS and IEQ (injury experiences questionnaire)
Who still disabled after one year of program
High scores on PCS = pain chronic
High scores of IEQ was best predictor of you remaining absent from work
o Clinical implications of perceived injustice
Anger – mor eangry you are, it’s not going to help in progress to rehabilitation!
Especially if not with professional people you are consulting, not developing the
relationship will not help with you rprogress
More anger, will be non-compliant.
Compromise alliances with treating professionals through anger
o Two kinds of people in the worl d for people who perceive injustice
Ally or enemy
Express anger at you, they’ve decide you’re one of the enemies
Psyc 215 march 13th, 15th, 20th, 22nd, and 27th, 2012. Behaviour that promotes harmonious social functioning: from the book, conformity and norms help us come to consensus to determine how social groups exist, need harmonious behavior to make things happen. Conformity, obedience: cast in negative light ex: milgram experiment, obey when we shouldn"t behave, our author says need obey commands of superiors to develop social norm/function. Helping: people who do these 3 things are engaging prosocial behaviour. Across cultures, there appears to be a norm that one is obliged to pay back in kind what one has received: in interpersonal interactions, there isa give and ake. Invest, and expect return on our investment: when someone does something nice for you, it sets up a debt. When you are the recipient, you feel need/pressure to repay at least in kind the deposit of gesture. Receiving help creates a debt that must be repaid.