PSYCH 2C03 Chapter 4-5: Pro Social Readings
Course CodePSYCH 2C03
This preview shows half of the first page. to view the full 3 pages of the document.
Social Psych Chap 10
Why Do People Help People?
Prosocial Behaviour: Any act performed with the goal of benefiting another person.
Altruism: The desire to help others, even if it involves a cost to the helper.
Evolutionary Psychology: Instincts and Genes:
- Theory of evolution = natural selection favours genes that promote the survival of the ind.
- Problem with evolutionary theory: how can it explain altruism?
Kin Selection: The idea that behaviours that help a genetic relative are favoured by natural
- People can increase the chances of their genes being passed on not only by having their own
children but also ensuring that their genetic relatives have children.
The Reciprocity Norm: The expectation that helping others will increase the likelihood that
they will help us in the future.
Learning Social Norms:
Herbert Simon - one more link between evolution & altruism.
- It is highly adaptive for inds to learn social norms from other members of society.
-Through natural selection, the ability to learn social norms has become part of our genetic
- People help others because of 3 factors that have become ingrained in our genes: kin
selection, the norm of reciprocity & the ability to learn & follow social norms.
Social Exchange: The Costs & Rewards of Helping
- Social Exchange Theory argues that much of what we do stems from the desire to maximize
our rewards & minimize our costs.
Empathy & Altruism: The Pure Motives for Helping
- Batson: Pure altruism is likely to happen when we feel empathy for the person in need of help.
Empathy: The ability to put ourselves in the shoes of another person, experiencing events &
emotions the way that person experiences them.
Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis: If you feel empathy for someone, you will help because your
goal will be to relieve that person's distress, not to gain something for yourself.
Three basic motives underlying prosocial behaviour:
1. Helping is an instinctive reaction to promote the welfare of those genetically similar to us
2. The rewards of helping often outweigh the costs, so helping is in our self-interest (social
3. Under some conditions, powerful feelings of empathy for others prompt self-less giving
You're Reading a Preview
Unlock to view full version