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PSYC 100 (329)

Prosocial Development

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Queen's University
PSYC 100
Ingrid Johnsrude

Prosocial Development  Can include altruistic acts but also actions such as helping, cooperating, comforting and other behaviour that are beneficial to someone else but may also benefit the person performing the act Altruism  Refers to acts performed primarily for the benefit of another person and at a cost to the person performing the actions o Eg. Donations  Empathy o When a person witnesses another person’s emotional state and is emotionally affected by it themselves  One potential reason for this type of behaviour is the predisposition to engage in helping behaviour provided by our ancestors to gain an evolutionary advantage o When you have helped someone they are more likely to help you in the future Anti social and Bullying Behaviour  Can be seen in 18 months, increase in frequency  Physical aggression peaks around 2.5 years, decreases o Verbal aggression increases when child learns to master language o Most aggression towards others is for the purpose of gaining something o Aggression turns defensive with age  Can be sex differences in ways anti social behaviour is displayed o Across cultures males seem to be more aggressive than females  Females demonstrate indirect aggression Kohlberg’s theory of development  Longitudinal studies o The participants in the beginning of the experiment are tested and retested at several points in the course of their lives. o Would ask the same questions at different points in their lives o Believed that humans pass through a series of stages of moral reasoning o 3 levels, 7 stages o Ages are less important, not everyone passes through all stages  Level 1 : Preconventional Reasoning  Stage 1 : Heteronymous Morality  Beginning of preschool  Reason primary on their own interests, avoidance of punishment  St
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