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Chapter 14.docx

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McGill University
PSYC 215
John Lydon

Chapter 14- Altruism and Cooperation 4/28/2013 3:13:00 PM Altruism  Definition: unselfish behavior that benefits others w/o regard to consequences for self  Many forces can inhibit altruistic action o Tendencies towards self preservation o Fear of embarrassment Empathic Concern: A Case of Pure Altruism?  In any action of altruism, several motives within2 selfish ones and the 3 rdis unselfish… st  1 motive: social rewards motive o group members will give greater social status and power to other altruistic group members nd  2 motive: personal distress o people are motivated to help others to reduce own stress o pain regions of brain activate when we see someone in pain  3 rdmotive: empathic concern o we identify with the person in need and we imagine what the person is experiencing Empathy vs. Personal Distress  Experiments are set up so that egotistic motives (to reduce personal distress or gain social rewards) would lead to little helping  1 study allowed participants to simply leave the experiment- must watch confederate receive 2 shocks, and then volunteer was told they could leave before having to watch the last 8. In the other condition, they could not leave. They were given the option to take shocks for the confederate. Those who felt distress and could escape took few shocks. Those participants who felt empathic concern volunteered to take more shocks even when they could have just left.  This study was not 100% telling because it was not completely anonymous and therefore the experimenter knew how the participant was acting. Anonymous Altruism  Study 1: females to form impressions of another person based on information- can’t see the person. Empathetic concern is manipulated. High empathy condition- person is told to vividly imagine how the other person felt. The information told the participant that the person felt out of place in University and having a strong need for a friend. The measure was the number of hours the participant volunteered to spend with the person. The high empathy condition spent more hours with the person.  Study 2: Children and college students to watch a video about accident victims. Those who were empathetically concerned showed eyebrows pulled in, upward, a concerned gaze, and heart rate deceleration. Those who were distressed showed painful wince and heart rate acceleration. Empathic Concern and Volunteerism  Volunteerism: nonmonetary assistance an individual regularly provides to another person or group with no expectation of compensation o Has many motives including desire for social rewards and reduce distress o Volunteering is good for your health and increases longevity  Study: longitudinal study; people who gave were less likely to die during the five years of the study  What cultivates empathic concern? o Altruism and compassion highly valued in homes- central theme in books and teachings they discussed in the home o Invoked as important ethical principle o Powerful force for human good and can be passed from parent to child Situational determinants of Altruism  Kitty Genovese incident: multiple people watched the murder and rape of Kitty Genovese without interfering  Are we really that callous to the suffering of others? Good Samaritan Study- Darley and Batson  Studied situational factors like whether you’re late will effect if you help someone  Seminary students to give a talk to undergraduate students- condition 1 is that it would be about jobs that seminary students find and condition 2 is that it would be a talk on the tale of the Good Samaritan.  Other conditions- hurry or no hurry  So the participants (seminary students) were given a map of Princeton campus and began walking to the classroom and stumbled upon a man groaning and holding his stomach- visibly and audibly in distress. L o Largest effect on if the student helped was whether the student was late or not o Only 10% of the students in a hurry stopped to help Audience effects  Bystander intervention: people are less likely to help when other people are around because they assume that someone else will help  Diffusion of responsibility: reduction in sense of urgency to help someone in a situation under assumption that others will help  Presence of other people, at least of strangers, strongly inhibits behavior  Presence of friends might boost levels of altruism: o good friends stand up to bullies on the playground and soldiers risk their lives to save combat friends  In a study, participants who had been exposed to close friends name had more empathetic concern for the confederate who had to complete a sequence of upsetting tasks o Friends can evoke our nobler tendencies Victim characteristics  One powerful determinant of helping is whether anything about the victim suggests that it may be COSTLY to help o The greater the costs the less likely people are to act altruistically o Example: victim received help 65% of the time when he was bleeding and he received help 95% of the time when he was not bleeding  In general, women receive more help than men  More attractive women and in conventionally feminine attire receive more help o Question of stereotype of being more dependent and helpless o Foot in the door romantic involvement with attractive women  People are more likely to help similar others Construal Processes and Altruism Helping in Ambiguous situations  Helping requires the potential helper to perceive first that a person is suffering and that help is needed  People are more likely to help when they are aware of the events leading up to the victim’s distress  In a move vivid and dramatic situation the bystander is more likely to notice what is going on  Surrounding social context also plays role o Form of pluralistic ignorance occurs when people are uncertain what is ha
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