PSYC 2310 Lecture Notes - Murder Of Kitty Genovese, Pluralistic Ignorance, Glossary Of Riemannian And Metric Geometry

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13 Nov 2012
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Social Psyc Lec 8
Question of Motives
- Why do we act to benefit others?
a) We care about welfare of others (altruistic motivation)
b) We care about ourselves (egoistic motivation)
- Evolutionary perspective
A Look at History
- There is a strong assumption in psychology of universal egoism
- This is the majority view in economics, political science, and philosophy (Mansbridge 1990)
- Greek philosopher Epictetus
38 Witnesses
- Silent witnesses: The kitty Genovese murder (1964)
- Alternative analysis: The Probable of the 38 Witness (Manning, Levine, Collins, 2007)
Why don’t people help?
- Darley & Latane (1968) came up with an ingenious answer. They suggested that after noticing the
problem, people have to take a sequential
Sequential questions before helping
- What is the problem?
- Latane & Darley’s experiments (1968, 1970)
- A state of pluralistic ignorance
- Is it my responsibility?
- Darley & Latane’s study (1968)
- Diffusion of responsibility
- What can I do?
- A sense of competence
Psychological Answers
- 3 fundamental forms of egoistic prosocial behaviour:
1. Gaining rewards
- Kinship selection more likely to help relatives (preferential helping)
- Reciprocity credit
- Positive mood
- Mood maintenance (empathic joy)
- Mood enhancement (negative state relief)
2. Avoiding punishment
- Fines/imprisonment
- Norm violation
3. Reducing aversive arousal
- Escaping one’s own distress
Altruism
- Advocates of altruism suggest that the self-benefits are unintended consequences of reaching the
ultimate goal of benefiting the other (Batson 1995)
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