PSY 306 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Egotism

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Class 16: Helping, Altruism, and Prosocial Behavior
Evolutionary
Reasons
Kin Selection
Helping those genetically related to us helps ensure the
survival of our genes
Reciprocity
Helping others increases the likelihood that they will help us
in the future
Learning social norms
Those who were “quick learners” were more likely to
survive
Balanced Polymorphism
Helping might be costly bi-product of a gene that in other
situations is helpful (like parenting) like sickle-cell gene
Group Selection
It might be the case that groups whose members helped each
other fared better
If we evolved to help each other, then we might have specialized
skills in recognizing cues that the help will be reciprocated
Non-verbal behavior decoding?
Cognitive
Expectancy
Reasons
Social Exchange Theory
We maximize our rewards and minimize our costs
Internal Rewards: can relieve our distress or make us feel
good
External Rewards: can increase the likelihood of being
helped or make us look good/not look bad
Costs of helping vs. costs of not helping
We help when rewards higher than costs
Prisoner’s dilemma game: likelihood of helping depends on
your expected outcome
Expected outcome depends on our expectations of
others
Behaviors should reveal your expectations of others
Economics of Helping
Why don’t economists help? (Frank et al. 1993)
Expectations: they have been taught that everyone asks in
his/her own self-interest
Adopting a conservation strategy: on a given single trial,
better safe than sorry
Emotional: are they less empathetic than other people?
Increase helping with “socialist
People who played a brief icebreaker with a group of
strangers were more cooperative than when interacting
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