PSYC355 Lecture 13: Prosocial Behaviour (II)

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18 Mar 2015
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Lecture 13: Prosocial Behaviour II
Prosocial Behaviour: Developmental Psychology approach
Social Evaluation
Helping, Sharing, and Comforting
Selective Helping
Cooperation
Rules and Norms
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1. Introduction
Is the human mind unique in terms of our ability to engage in prosocial behaviour?
What are the developmental foundations of this behaviour?
- are we born cooperative (Rousseau)?
- Are we born selfish (Hobbes)?
- Are we different from other animals even early in our development?
2. Social Evaluation
The capacity to evaluate the actions of others in terms of their social desireability
1. Recognizing the Valence of Actions (Premack & Premack, 1997)
Infants habituated to cuddle or hit video then tested with either help or hinder
video.
Various video combinations habituated/tested
Infants looked longer if saw video showing opposite intentions to those it had
been habituated to (ie. Habituated to cuddle video, tested with hinder video;
habituated with hit video, tested with help video)
2. Preference for Helpers (Hamlin et al., 2007)
Hillside video. Shape approaches hill & tries to climb it. New shape either helps
or hinders original shape’s progress at climbing the hill.
Infant given option to choose one of the shape he’d seen in the video infants
preferentially choose the shape that helped
2. Others’ Preference for Helpers (Kuhlmeier et al., 2003)
Similar hill climb help/hinder test
Shape trying to climb up hill then given option to approach either helping or
hindering shape
Infants look longer when shape approaches the hinderer keep track of what
shapes do in their previous interactions, but also using information to make
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judgments about future interactions
3. Helping
Warneken & Tomasello (2006)
18 month olds engage in helping behaviors in a variety of contexts
Actor attempted to accomplish variety of tasks but encountered difficulty (ie. drop
something, trouble opening a door).
oControl condition: actor does same actions but doesn’t portray need
(neutral facial expression, no reaching motions)
oTested if toddlers helped.
oResults: toddlers only provided help when ‘need’ was portrayed. Watch
cues & adjust behavior according to the other person
Chimps observed doing the same. Provide instrumental help if need is
demonstrated. However helping behavior seen less frequently in chimps than
toddlers
Follow-ups:
oCost of helping
Found regardless of the difficulty of the task, chimps & toddlers
helped more frequently than when need was not demonstrated
oRewards for helping (socialization)
Reward didn’t make a difference either. Whether reward was given
or size of reward didn’t affect whether help was given or not.
Helping, Sharing, and Comforting
Dunfield et al. (2010) -- 18- to 24-month-olds engage in 3 types of prosocial
behaviour
Helping, comforting, sharing
Helping drop object.
oExperimental: reach for object
oControl: just look at object
Comforting banging knee on desk
oExperimental: show distress
oControl: Just hold knee with neutral facial expression
Sharing both child & experimenter get same # of crackers
oExperimental: look at crackers longingly
oControl: Just look at crackers neutrally
Toddlers more likely to provide help in experimenter conditions when need was
demonstrated than control conditions where experimenter reactions were neutral
and didn’t demonstrate need
Selective Helping:
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