Textbook Notes (363,460)
Canada (158,372)
Psychology (1,867)
PSY220H5 (98)
Chapter 8

Chapter 8psy220.docx

8 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto Mississauga
Dax Urbszat

Ch. 8 ALTRUISM Chapter 8: ALTRUISM: HELPING OTHERS Altruism: a motive to increase another’s welfare without conscious regard for one’s self interest WHY DO WE HELP? SOCIAL EXCHANGE Social Exchange Theory: the theory that human interactions are transactions that aim to maximize one’s rewards and minimize one’s costs “minimax“ strategy: minimize costs, maximize rewards  Human interactions are guided by a “social economics” , we exchange not only material goods but social goods: love, services, information, status  Costs and rewards predict our behaviour REWARDS - Making donations activates brain areas linked to reward - Generous people are happier than those whose spending is self-focussed - We are more eager to help someone attractive to us, rewards are external - Rewards may also be internal, helping increase our sense of self-worth ex. Tip - Social exchange theory imply tat a helpful act is never truly altruistic, it degenerates into explaining- by naming - Ex. It creates a circular explanation: why did she volunteer?, “b/c of the inner rewards”, “ How do u know there are inner rewards?”, “ why else would she have volunteered.” Egoism: the idea that self-interest motivates all behaviour  The higher arousal response to another’s distress the most help is given by that person  People will do whatever can be done to expunge the guilt and restore their self image  We are more likely to redeem ourselves with helpful behaviour when other people know about our misdeeds  Helpful deeds help neutralize the bad feeling  Exception to the “feel bad- do good” phenomenon: DEPRESSION & profound GREIF  Makes it difficult for the to be giving ( a state of self-preoccupation) Ch. 8 ALTRUISM  The feel bad- do good phenomenon effect occurs with people who’s attention is on others  If not self-preoccupied by depression or grief, sad people are sensitive, helpful people. FEEL GOOD – DO GOOD  A positive mood is conductive to positive thoughts and positive elf-esteem which predispose us to positive behaviour  Positive thinkers are likely to be positive actors  Helping soften a bad mood sustains a good mood SOCIAL NORMS  Norms are social expectations, “the oughts” of our lives, we feel we ought to do …  Two social norms that motivate altruism (1)Reciprocity norm: To those who help us, we should return help, not harm (2)Social responsibility norm: belief that people should help those who need help, without regard to future exchanges The Reciprocity Norm:  Reciprocity within social networks helps define the “social capital” – the supportive connections, information flow, trust, and cooperative actions – that keep a community healthy  Neighbours keeping an eye on each other’s homes is social capital in action  Proud high-self esteem people are often reluctant to seek help, receiving unsolicited help can take one’s self-esteem down a notch  Reminds us to balance giving and receiving in social relations The Social Responsibility Norm:  Collectivistic cultures support the social responsibility norm more strongly then individualistic cultures  The norm seems to be, give people what they deserve  If they seem to have created their own problems (by laziness, immorality, lack of foresight) then the norm suggests that they don’t deserve help  If we attribute the need to an uncontrollable predicament, we help. If we attribute the need to the person’s choices, fairness does not require us to help  We say it’s the persons own fault THUS, the social responsibility norm compels us to help those most in need and those most deserving Ch. 8 ALTRUISM GENDER AND RECEIVING HELP  Will women, if perceived less competent and more dependent, receive more help? YES  Women offer help equally to males and females, whereas men offer more help when the strangers in need are females  Mating motives increase men’s spending on conspicuous luxuries, and they also motivate displays of heroism  Men helped frequently more attractive then unattractive women  Women receive more offers of help in situations and they are twice as likely to receive medical and psychiatric help if needed EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY  Evolutionary psychology contends that the essence of life is gene survival  Our genes drive us in ways that have maximized their chance of survival Biological reaffirmation of a deep, self-serving :original sin”  Genes that predispose individuals to self-sacrifice in the interests of strangers’ welfare would not survive in the evolutionary competition  Genetic selfishness should however, predispose us to ward two specific types of selfless or self-sacrificial altruism: kin protection and reciprocity KIN PROTECTION  Our genes predispose us to care for relatives. Thus one form of sacrifice that would increase gene survival is devotion to ones children  Genetic egoism (at the biological level) fosters parental altruism (psychological level)  Although evolution favours self sacrifice for one’s children, children have less at stake in the survival of their parents’ genes  You share one half of your genes with your brothers and sisters, one eighth with your cousins Kin Selection: favouritism toward those who share our genes  Helping stays close to home  Kin selection predisposes ethnic in-group favouritism Ch. 8 ALTRUISM RECIPROCITY  Genetic self-interest also predicts reciprocity  Reciprocity works best in small, isolated groups, groups in which one will often see the people for whom one does favours  Group selection: when groups are in competition, groups of mutually supportive altruists outlast groups of non-altruists  Humans exhibit in group loyalty, by sometimes sacrificing to support “us” against “them”  Natural selection is therefore, multi-level, it operates at both individual and group levels COMPARING AND EVALUTING THEORIES OF ALTRUISM Two types of prosocial behavior: 1. a tit for a tat reciprocal exchange 2. Unconditional helpfulness  Our willingness to help is influenced by both self-serving and self-less considerations  When we feel attached we also feel empathy Empathy: the experience of someone else’s feelings; putting yourself in someone else’s shoes  If empathy was aroused, people usually help  HOWEVER, if we feel empathy but know that something else will make us feel better, we aren’t so likely to help  Everyone agrees tha
More Less

Related notes for PSY220H5

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.