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march 13 2012- psych 215.docx

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McGill University
PSYC 215
Michael Sullivan

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 Prosocial Behaviour People who follow these rules are engaging in pro-social behaviour. Reciprocity Whenever someone does something nice to you, it sets up a debt. You feel the need or the pressure to repay the positive gesture. It is argued that this reciprocity norm contributes a great deal to social functioning. This leads to the propagation of pro-social behaviour. You will only feel comfortable taking help if you feel that somehow you will be able to repay it. Often people (minorities, elderly, etc) feel uncomfortable with receiving help because they will be experiencing tension of a debt that they owe that they cannot repay. Fairness/Justice The idea that you will be receiving benefits in proportion to what you have contributed. We expect that there will be payback for investments. This is the equity of a relationship. Reciprocitu does not have to be equal, but it must be equitable. Violations of Justice Norm Believing that the world around you is fair is important to successful coping and adaptation to stresses. But some research has said otherwise; having the thought of a just world does not help you. It can work against you if you are in a situation where a violation in your belief leads you to abandon this belief. Key to successful coping is having this belief and maintaining it even when violated. When something happens, we tend to ruminate with the event first. You will excessively focus on the loss. Sometimes you will be sad, sometimes you will be angry. Focus will be everything that you have lost as a function of the event. As you get angry, you will be thinking more and more about how to retaliate. There is the feeling that the perpetrator of the injustice must pay a price until we are released from our perceptions of injustice. Research has been showing that in terms of perceptions of injustice in an injury or debilitating situation, the more that you think of your situation as unfair, the worse off you will be at the end. Your perceptions of injustice will compromise recovery. Next Slide Studies of people who have lives through debilitating events. People who spoke like this did not get better. The theme seen here is justice; these people felt it was unjust. Next Slide In acceleration/deceleration injuries, not everything comes back to sit where it is supposed to in the complex head/neck area. A lot of people don’t get better from things like this. I don’t deserve Something that has made perception in injury difficult to assess is that it is not always conscious. But you can tell by thinking how likely it is that a person will be saying things that could start with “I don’t deserve”. The more you can imagine people completing their sentences with this phrase, the more that they are experiencing elements of social injustice. Injustice as underserved loss Will always be associated with some form of loss. This does not have to be physical. The Losses of Disability There are a lot of areas where people can be experiencing loss. Next 2 Slides There are two elements of perceptions of injustice discussed by early philosophers that still are true when talking about the characteristics of injustice. It is like a cancer of the spirit, loss takes root in your psyche and stays there. The only way to feel better is to reciprocate the action on the perpetrator. Next Slide In the early days, they knew that you could not have people thinking revenge in society, so they needed to release people of their sense of injustice. They had people publicly suffer. It also HAD to be public. Undeserved Loss Now people deal with it by giving you money. The only thing that someone can give you back is money in order to replace the loss that you experienced. Perceived Injustice For most people this seems to be alright. But some people are not appeased, and this is what Dr. Sullivan studied. Next Slide Paper (TO BE POSTED). Sex Differences in Perceived Injustice Following injury, men experience higher levels of injustice than women. This could be because men had a higher sense of entitlement, or the losses for men are larger than the losses for women. Catastrophizing It was also found that perceptions o
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