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march 15 2012- psych 215.docx

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PSYC 215
Michael Sullivan

Thursday, March 15th, 2012 What Breeds Obedience? Milgram then looked at the parameters of obedience. He found that we do not obey all of the time. Emotional distance is a factor (if he is right next to you, you will deliver less shock). As for the legitimacy of the authority, if the person giving the order is just another participant, they will not have as much say. Also, the degree to which other people obeyed commands impacted how much people will be following orders. Summary of Classic Studies All having to do with things that guide our behaviour. First Movie (Star trek) There is a lot of work done on understanding why people act to the detriment to themselves to help others. In a society, you want to maximize this type of phenomenon. There is a lot of controversy about why this happens. The controversy is whether you are really acting for someone else’s well being, or if there is something in it for yourself. To some degree, maybe it is driven by the ego (looking like a hero, etc). The studies that we will see will try to see how selfish or how selfless someone else’s behaviours. Slide With Bull Some of the things that propel us to help others. When looking at this picture, there is an empathic dimension to experience where you can feel his pain. Something about the ways that our minds are constructed allows us to experience pain the ways that others do. This is one of the ways of propelling behaviour; we feel stress when others do. Next Slide He is probably going to his mom, who will fell stress. This is a motivator of her helping behaviour. Slide with dog and firefighter It is not entirely true that it is a human thing. A lot of dogs assisted with looking for survivors. Do dogs help for different reasons that we use to engage in helping behaviour? These dogs are probably trained for this task; they do not perceive of the need for help, but they are rewarded for engaging in this behaviour repeatedly. Also, some genetic dispositions in certain dogs will either favour or prohibit pro-social behaviour. Next Slide Things done in your day-to-day life that are helping behaviours (pro-social). Regardless of the motive, this will benefit others. Video on people volunteering First reactions to volunteering might be to think over all of the costs involved. Research shows that although there are costs, there are rewards as well. Once relationships develop within the volunteering experience, this increases continuity. Evolutionary Factors in Helping: The “Selfish Gene” It is thought that humans came prepared to help in some way. We behave in ways that appear to maximize our survival. But we are not just interested in having us survive, we are also interested in having our genetic material survive (siblings, parents, etc). We are motivated to protect them as well as ourselves. You help more based on who has more genetic similarity. Evolutionary Factors in Helping: Reciprocal Altruism Increases the possibility that help will be given beyond kinship ties. Within our social unit, there will be people not related to us, but it is also important to us. Movie: A lot of experiments done on monkeys to see if they can behave altruistically. In monkeys, they actually tend to behave altruistically towards other altruistic monkeys, and not the ones who are not. When we compare human beings to animals: while all species demonstrate kinship selection when it comes to altruism, as soon as members are not related, the frequency at which you see altruistic behaviour fall. It is only in humans that you see altruistic behaviour that is not towards family members. Rewards of Helping: Helping Others to Help Oneself If a helpful situation is proposed and all that comes to mind is costs, then it will be turned down. If rewards are made clear, it is more likely you will agree to participate. Costs of Helping or of Not Helping Schindler’s List: he helped in spite of the fact that it is associated with very high costs. If you have a spouse that is elderly and you are taking care of them, you seem to be doing ok emotionally until the spouse either no longer recognizes you, or they loose bladder and bowel control. This leads to burnout of the caregiver; the relationship that you have with the individual no longer exists anymore. Altrusim of Egoism: The Great Debate The answer will be generally that it all depends. There does seem to be cases under which
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