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PSYC 215 (296)
John Lydon (79)
Chapter 14

Chapter 14.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 215
Professor
John Lydon

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Chapter 14  Altruism = unselfish behavior that benefits others without regard to consequences for the self  Sometimes inhibited by self-preservation and fear of embarrassment  Empathetic concern: a case of pure altruism?  3 main motives for altruistic behavior:  Social rewards motive = benefits like praise, positive attention, tangible rewards, honors, and gratitude that may be gained from helping others  Personal distress motive = people are motivated to help others in need to reduce own distress  We respond to other people's distress with our own distress from an early age  We feel the pain of others and try to reduce own distress by helping them  Empathic concern motivation= feeling people experience when identifying with the person in need, accompanied by the intention to enhance the other person's welfare  Taking the other person's perspective  Empathy vs. personal distress:  Experiment: participants had to watch someone get shocked every time they got a question wrong; participant was told they could leave after watching two shocks, or take the place of the person and take the shocks for them; those who at first reported feeling uneasy and distressed (egoistic) agreed to take fewer shocks than those who reported feeling empathy for the person -- pure altruism is possible  But this experiment is flawed - people that feel might be in general more helpful for some other reason and they may have done it for a reward motive because wanted to impress researcher  Anonymous altruism  Experiment: participants who were encouraged to feel empathy for another student who reported feeling lonely, volunteered to spend more time with her than those who were told to act objectively, even in the low-social-evaluation condition where their volunteering was anonymous  Physiological indicators of empathy:  Upward pulled eyebrows, concerned gaze, and heart rate deceleration - people experiencing these physiological states of empathy were more likely to help  People who reported feeling distress were less likely to help had heart rate acceleration and showed a pained wince in the face  There is an empathic physiological response  Empathic concern and volunteerism  Volunteerism is good for your health - people were less likely to die (while controlling for health and age) if they helped others, but not if they were simply beneficiaries of help - giving is better than receiving  People are more likely to act in altruistic ways if that was an important theme growing up  Situational determinants of altruism  We don't always act on our empathic concern  What dampens the concern and inhibits altruistic action?  Good Samaritan Study  Situational factors affect whether we help or not  Students that weren't in a hurry were more likely to help  Audience effect  Bystander intervention = how likely it is for people to intervene in an emergency  People are l
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