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Psychology (1,279)
PSYCH 3BA3 (49)
Chapter 11

Chapter 11

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McMaster University
Richard B Day

Chapter 11 – Empathy and Egotism Altruism  Defining Altruism o Behaviour aimed at benefiting another person o In response to the decline in the economy, volunteerism has also declined (72%)  The Egotism Motive o Egotism: the motive to pursue some sort of person gain or benefit through targeted behaviour  one of the most influential of all human motives o egotism fuels altruistic behaviour  two sides of the same coin (benefit them and benefits us)  Forms of Egotism-Motivated Altruism 1. Public praise or monetary reward 2. Avoidance of social or personal punishments for failing to help 3. Lessen helper’s distress at seeing another’s trauma  The Empathy Motive and the Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis o Empathy: an emotional response to the perceived plight of another person  Ability to match another’s emotions  May entail a sense of tenderheartedness toward another person  Batson  altruism involves behaviours aimed at promoting another’s well- being o Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis: instances where egotism does not appear to explain these helping behaviours  Having a greater sense of empathy encourages one to help those in need  The Genetic and Neural Foundations of Empathy o Adult males : 0.41 MZ, 0.05 DZ o Prefrontal and parietal cortices essential for empathy o Requires the capacity to form internal simulations of another’s bodily or mental states  Damage to right somatosensory cortices, can no longer judge other’s emotions  Damage to prefrontal cortex, impairments in appraising the emotions of other people o Mirror Neurons: react identically when an animal performs an action or witnesses another animal performing the same action  CultivatingAltruism o Egotism-Based Approaches to EnhancingAltruisticActions  Assumption: feeling good about one’s self is not part of rendering help  Need to emphasize the idea that building higher self-esteem encourages a person to help others o Empathy-BasedApproaches to EnhancingAltruisticActions  Teach how to have greater empathy for the circumstances of other people  Have person interact more frequently with those in need; breaks down “us vs. them” perspective  Point out not obvious similarities  Work with those people who want to set themselves apart from others; in a none-extremist sense o Value-Based Approaches to EnhancingAltruisticActions  Incorporate helping into their personal identity  Leads to not behaving in a way that serves the greater good is punished  MeasuringAltruism o Self-ReportAltruism Scale  20-items o Prosocial Behaviour Questionnaire  Observational index  20-items o Helping Attitude Scale  Beliefs, feelings, and behaviours related to helping  20-items  Meets criteria for scale reliability and validity  Women have more positive attitudes about helping than men Gratitude  Defining Gratitude o Emerges upon recognizing that a positive outcome has arisen from another individual who behaved in a way that was 1. Costly to him/her 2. Valuable to the recipient 3. Intentionally rendered o Positive outcome comes from another person, but the benefit derived from a nonhuman action or event • Benefit Finding: coming through a crises or problem and discovering the benefits in that experience  Cultivating Gratitude o Those who kept weekly gratitude journals superior in 1. The amount of exercise undertaken 2. Optimism about the upcoming week 3. Feeling better about their lives o Adolescents : higher in optimism and LS, lower in NA o Those low in PA, grateful letters, increased in level of gratefulness and higher PA o An active and affirming process  Measuring Gratitude o List grateful things in one’s life o Written stories, greater levels of gratitude in older women living in poverty o Multidimensional Prayer Inventory  3-item Thanksgiving self-report subscale  Higher scores correlated with stronger religious practices (prayer) o Gratitude, Resentment, andAppreciation Test (GRAT)  Three factors: resentmen
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