PSY220H1 Study Guide - Motivation, In-Group Favoritism, Social Exchange Theory

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28 Jun 2011

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Andrew (youngjik) Lee
Altruism: Helping others
-motivation to increase another!s welfare without conscious regard for one!s self
Social Exchange
-we exchange material and social goods to minimize costs and maximize rewards
-Social exchange is self-interest disguised as helping and empathy is genuine altruism
-Why do people volunteer? Demonstrate own values, understand people/skills better, to
be more social, enhance career prospects, protect ego (reduce guilt, means of
escape), enhance self-esteem
-Behavior is attributed to inner disposition when there is lack of external explanations,
when external causes are obvious, we credit cause, not person
-Egoism!s ultimate goal is to increase one!s own welfare
-Batson argues that our willingness to help is inflated by both self-serving and selfess
considerations (empathy for those close to us and those we identify with)
-When empathy comes into play we focus not on our own distress but on the sufferer,
sympathy and compassion motivate us to help the person for their own sake
-Exposed to another!s distress + Feel distressed = egoistic motivation (need to reduce
own distress) = behavior (help to reduce my own distress)
-Exposed to another!s distress + Feel empathy = altruistic motivation = behavior (help
reduce other!s distress)
-Escape situation = egoistic distress, going out of the way to help = empathy
-Genuine altruism: helping rival groups, helping although no one is aware of it,
persistence in helping even when distressed mood is alleviated by “mood-fixingdrug
Social norms
-norm of reciprocity: to those who help us, we should return help, not harm
-When people cannot reciprocate, they feel threatened and demeaned by accepting aid
-People with high self-esteem are reluctant to get help
-norm of social responsibility: people should help those who need help without
regard to future exchanges
-Usually applied to those whose need appears not due to own negligence
-Responses are tied to attributions whether it is controllable or not
-Get what you deserve
Evolutionary psychology
-Kin selection: favoritism towards those who share our genes
-Acts of love for close kin are not totally unexpected but acts of true altruism is
unexpected and often honored
-Genetic self-interest also predicts reciprocity
-Cheaters, traitors are universally despised
-Reciprocity works best in small, isolated groups, often exposed to each other
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