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Lecture 8

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Dan Dolderman

Lecture 8 3/13/2013 7:08:00 AM Self love not necessarily a bad thing. However, you need a balance between a self love and for others as well. Morality Morality emphasizes the other. However, the self is also important. This is because without the self morality doesn’t get too far. Shelman talks more about the other when talking about morality. Things like moral principles, emotions, and affiliations. Moral principles are moral reasoning, it's the way we think, our schemas. How we conceptualize the self and others, more about others. There are people who develop a more universalistic viewpoint, rather than thinking about in-group out-group think about us as common humanity, the fact that we are all human. Oliner and Oliner talked about people who had rescued Jews or helped them during the holocaust. They tried to understand what the difference is between people who helped or those that didn’t. It was common for people to turn away others for fear of being killed for helping. Also, it wasn’t uncommon for people to take in and help complete strangers. One of the main differences they found between people who helped and those that didn’t were moral principles. The parents of these people who helped Jews had taught them a universalistic way of thinking. Thinking about others as humans with no difference between them. Dalai Lama talked about Tibet kids. He said when children were young, they really want to squish bugs. If you let them squish bugs then you make them feel a differene between the self and others. However, if you make them understand that bugs are just as alive as humans and there is no difference between them and others then its less likely that they reason with respect to humans as they do with bugs. Moral emotions are affiliated with empathy. You don’t hurt bugs for example because you can in essence feel their pain. Empathy is a two step process. It starts with what they call personal distress. They argue that this personal distress is as hardwired as it can get, we have this innate disposition to feel others pain. One of our primary motivation is to reduce personal distress. From Dolderman’s kids example, you can reduce distress by either comforting others or reducing your own distress. Hence, when you feel personal distress you can focus on other-oriented distress or yourself. Parents should encourage this other oriented distress which leads to empathy. You see the connection between moral principles and moral emotions in babies with the teddy bear experiment. Babies who like smarties and see a video of a teddy bear who likes smarties opening a box with another bear coming to help him vs another teddy who jumps on the box, the babies prefer the teddy that helps. However, if the teddy bear likes Cheerios for example that the babies don’t like, then they prefer the bear that jumps on the box. We see this in group out group bias in even children who perform social categorization at such an early age. Affiliations is social norms etc. Parents have a phenomenal amount of control over who their children hang out with and exposing them to positive role models and others. The other part of affiliations is that parents also forget themselves. Parents are their children’s primary connection. Children internalize the values of their parents. Hence, if you don’t live your values then your kids aren’t going to absorb these positive values. There is a very big role in moral principles, moral emotions, and moral affiliations of security. This is very important in parenting these days. It is very possible for an insecure person to be nice, kind, or take part in altruistic behavior however, you are more likely to get more moral behavior from a secure person rather than an insecure person. Bowlby – Attachment Theory Talks about how people are born with an innate psycho-biological system which is the attachment behavioral system. It motivates people to seek closeness. We especially look for closeness in time of need. You don’t just run away from fear, but towards what provides you security. Attachment figures which are available and responsible promote optimal functioning of the attachment system and results is secure attachment. When attachment figures are not supportive, then a
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