Tuesday October 30 2012th
Midterm next week: 5-6-7-8 (6 questions – (26 marks) 60 multiple choice-2 marks of bonus
Prosocial behaviour (why people do and do not help/ how to increase it and social support)
- any act (behaviour) performed with the goal of benefiting another person
- when determining why someone acted prosocially, look at motive underlying the act (not
the effects of acting prosocially)
Types of prosocial behaviour
- casual (ex. Lending a pencil or holding door open)
- substantial (ex. more: doing something with more effort, laundry, loaning car)
- Emotional (ex. Lend an ear to help a friend through an emotional time)
- Emergency (ex. Someone breaks a leg or something and you help.. or choking..)
YouTube: identify different types of help that you see
- Falling off skateboard: emergency or casual?
- Helping carrying grocery bags for elder: casual or substantial?
- Helping someone pay their car meter: casual or substantial?
- Giving someone something they lost: casual or substantial
- Helping someone carry something heavy: casual or substantial?
- Buying a hot dog for a homeless person: casual or substantial?
- Giving someone something they dropped : casual or substantial
- Buying flowers for a crying person: emotional
- Giving a big tip: casual
- Giving water to a thirsty person: casual
(I think people help because they have just been helped. It’s like “paying it forward” when you
help one person then that person will help another and so on… feel like you need to
reciprocate? Social responsibility norm (buying hot dog and helping old lady))
Example of when you help: - Returning a lost phone (I felt bad and the same thing happened to me a week ago, and I
enjoyed seeing the person happy about it)
Example of when you did not help:
- Denying homeless people (because I don’t necessarily feel bad for them
Why do we help… and why don’t we?
1. Social exchange theory
- Motive: egoism (to increase own welfare)
- Maximize rewards
• Internal or external rewards
Feel good do good
feel bad do good
Negative state relief hypothesis
Increase chances of reciprocity
- Minimize costs
• costs: physical danger, time, embarrassment
2. social norms
- Motive: egoism? Empathy?
- Reciprocity norm: you help someone and you think u’ll get helped later on
- Social-responsibility norm: helping people that depend on other (children, elders,
What keeps you from helping?
- Not knowing what is socially acceptable plays a role (not helping someone in a wheel
chair- would they be offended? Not knowing what the norm is or what is socially
- How does attribution theory play a role? (not wanting to help someone because they are
hung over instead of helping someone who is sick) 3. Evolutionary psychology theory
- Motive: genetically based egoism
- Kin protection
4. Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis (Genuine Empathy)
- Motive: empathy (goal is to help someone else not me-no weighing options (helping a
- To reduce other person’s distress
- No concern for self-interest
- May have personal costs to helper
Comparing egoism and altruism
- Egoism: distress of myself- reduce own distress (motivation)
- Altruism: empathy of myself- reduce other person’s distress (motivation)
Batson’s (1991) Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis
Person in need- empathy?:
- No: help only rewards outweigh cists