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PSYC 2310 Lecture Notes - Kuala Lumpur, Social Comparison Theory, Henri Tajfel

Course Code
PSYC 2310
Saba Safdar

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March 14, 2013 PSYCH 2310
Altruism and Intergroup Relations
empathy-altruism hypothesis
o it refers to feeling empathy for a person in need which leads to
altruistic motivation to relieve that need
o Testing aversive-arousal reduction vs. empathy-altruism hypothesis
Experimental design: escape (easy vs. difficult) empathy (low
vs. high)
o Empathy = you can see someone else’s perspective and can identify
with it
o Other person in this study is very similar to you try to imagine
yourself in his or her shoes try to see their perspective we are
increasing the level of empathy when you feel similar to other person
Altruistic Helping
- according to empathy-altruism hypothesis people are not primarily selfish, at
least not always!
- It is altruism?
o Bob, a university student spends three hours per week as a “big
brother” to an eight-year-old boy whose father has died.
It could be mood enhancement or negative-state relief
o Jill a university student gives a pint of blood in exchange for $7.00
No it’s direct reciprocation
o Believing that those who give shall receive great blessing in return, Ali
contributes their family’s monthly pay cheque to their church fund
o Newsha anonymously donates $500 to a local charity.
Altruistic? Maybe. It could be if we can manipulate measure or
be able to examine her empathic tendency.
o Esmeralda agrees to donate her eyes for transplant in the event of her
You can argue either way. It gets into a more gray area.
Helping Strangers!
- cross-cultural differences in helping strangers
o large cities in 23 countries
o three conditions of helping were:
dropped pen
busy time, busy street in the cities, few metres away
from a person comes walking towards him how many
people pick up the pen and run back and give it to him.
hurt leg
experimenter wearing leg brace drops magazines,
how many people stop and pick up magazines
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