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Lecture 8

PS270 Lecture 8 notes

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Christine Zaza

Tuesday October 30 2012th Midterm next week: 5-6-7-8 (6 questions – (26 marks) 60 multiple choice-2 marks of bonus questions) Prosocial behaviour (why people do and do not help/ how to increase it and social support) Prosocial behaviour: - 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  Social approval  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, mentally ill) 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 acceptable) - 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 - Reciprocity 4. Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis (Genuine Empathy) - Motive: empathy (goal is to help someone else not me-no weighing options (helping a drowning child)) - 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 -
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