PSYC 2310 Lecture Notes - Kuala Lumpur, Social Comparison Theory, Henri Tajfel
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March 14, 2013 – PSYCH 2310
Altruism and Intergroup Relations
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
o Empathy = you can see someone else’s perspective and can identify
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
- 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.
- cross-cultural differences in helping strangers
o large cities in 23 countries
o three conditions of helping were:
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.
experimenter wearing leg brace – drops magazines,
how many people stop and pick up magazines
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