Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (620,000)
McMaster (50,000)
PSYCH (6,000)

PSYCH 2C03 Lecture Notes - Reciprocal Altruism, Pole And Polar, Grocery Store

Course Code
Jennifer Ostovich

This preview shows pages 1-3. to view the full 9 pages of the document.
Prosocial Behaviour
Evolutionary perspective
Why from an evolutionary perspective why you would help some one else, when on your own time
you should be helping yourself
Prosocial behaviour can be called altruism? Special word, talking about help given to someone else
for no reward or recognition, no beneficial outcome,
When we help someone else we are helping ourselves, helping others is "selfish"
Quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson
We are going to find in this lecture that Emerson was right
What is prosocial behaviour? Positive consequences social,
What is altruism? Helping someone with nothing in return, very specifically implies there is nothing
in exchange for the helping
Evolutionary models
Evolutionary perspective
Big questions
How could prosocial behaviour have evolved
A couple of answers
Kin selection
We help people we are related to, we should help them we have copies of their genes,
we are more likely to help those of our genes than not, especially under dangerous
Reciprocation of prosocial behaviours
We can help people in our small groups, we think we evolved in our small groups
Helping someone in our small groups (kin rather than non kin) will increase survival
between you and others (like feeding and taking care of them when they are sick)
Kin selection
Basic idea, simply a vessel for genes, genese make us do stuff "genes made me do it"
Some sort of consciousness that will benefit them maximally
Inclusive fitness,
Our selfish genes protecting themselves!
Ex. Mommy lion carrying baby lion, she would never carry anothers babies, she will only
help those that are related from a kin selection perspective
Whose genes should we preserve?
The more genes we share the more helpful we should be to this person
If you jump in front of a tiger and save 3 family members (50% related to you)
Males are far more valuable than females because they can have more babies,
So they can potentially make more copies of your genes than a female, an older
female is reproductively useless (metepaus) older females are not worth saving

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

If your too young to reproduce there may not be reasons to save you
If you live long enough to reproduce there is no point in saving you
Ex. 10 vs 18 girl save 18 year old girl because she can start reproducing
This is all unconscious knowledge
Does the average person behave as though they know this?
12:00 we have an implicit understanding that the more related they are to us the more same genes
they have as us, so they will be able to reproduce offspring of same genes
Carnegie foundation
Awards prizes for prosocial behaviour
One thing they do not consider for a reward is if someone does something heroic who is
related to you, they award people who save people that are not related to them
10 years ago, fire in warehouse, lived cats with her kittens, cat went back and forth 4-5
times and she died from the fire, she saved many copies of her genes but its also a
selfish thing
It is in their genes to make them do this to help their genes survive
Burnstein, crandall and kitayama
Effects of kinship on helping
Subjects would read many stories in which someone needs help and they have to
choose between 1 of the 3 recipients
You circle the person you save and you cross out the people you don’t and you do
this based on kinship
IV: type of scenario
Grocery store
Life or death
Trapped in burning building and you can only save one of the
IV: Kinship
DV: Ss indicate targets they are most and least likely to help
Likelihood of helping index
17:00s --it is much more likely that you will save someone who is more related to
you in a life or death situation, steep significant slope
We have to save lot of people with copies of our genes
This is a biological imperative (biology forcing you to do something)
We save someone who is more related to us, and in life or death situations we
significantly will most likely save people who are more close to us .50% rather
than .25% related to us
Effects of age of target on helping
Burnstein et al also tested this
Responses about age is now being looked at
They found younger people get the helped and older people getting help there was not a
significant difference
Most interesting: they looked at helping in a specific life or death situation in which helping
someone may not completely save them
Horrible famine, give them some of their food, you don’t know if this is going to help
Infants don’t get help--giving them extra food wont save them
Give 10-18 year olds food, they will be able to survive and reproduce successfully
No significant different between saving 10 and 18 year olds but 10 and 18 year old
are saved significant more than 1year olds and 45-75 year olds

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

27:20s helping people that are not related to us who would we choose? We would
know older and very young people are frail, so we might have an emotional
response with people in between the data 10-20 year olds
Reciprocal altruism perspective
Why not call it reciprocal prosociality(?) (prof's suggestion)
Ex. Ground squirrel warning others that there is a predator, he is risking his life to save a lot of
other ground squirrels, because the next time it will not be you and you will be able to escape,
squirrels who participate in this, are going to be able to survive and every once in a while you
die, but that's the cost
Helping in big cities vs small towns
Small towns will show helping of non-kins than big city people
Lost letters
Small towns: stap envoplopes and lay them around, we get a larger proportion of these
letters back than large cities
wrong numbers
Call wrong number ran out of money, would ask someone for a dime, more small city
people would be helpful
Why? They are more identifiable and more reciprocated in smaller cities
Its not that you are going to be personally identified each time it is just that it creates a sense of we
are a community that help one another, you keep that idea goes so that everyone feels a normative
pressure to be helpful and reciprocate back
Up to this point is the evolutionary perspective
Prosocial behaviour
Social psychology explanations
Social Exchange Theory
Underlines debate nicely
Says that if we get ourselves into a situation where some one needs help we will do something
called a
Cost -benefit analysis
Help only if it will get you more than you give
Do the cons out way the pros?
Do the pros out way the cons?
No one is really conscious of weighing out these things
Allen (1971) NY subway exp
Iv: cost of helping
DV: % Ss helping (by correcting scary Muscle guy)
Scary muscle guy is a confederate--big and scary looking
Gets on subway in NY and finds a male, stretches out his feet and pulls out a muscle
Confederate 2 trips over confederate 1(scary muscle man)
Confederate 1 reactions: no reaction, insults (raises cost), or he threatens (raises cost
more)confederate 2
Confederate 3 asked is this train going uptown or downtown, confederate gives wrong
answer, is the guy beside him going to help?
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version