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Chapter 1

Psychology 3720F/G Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Group Cohesiveness, Curbed, Free Market

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Stelian Medianu

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Chapter one
Prosocial behavior
Prosocial behvaiour- behavior that benefits the other
Looked at form Benefactor ( or helper) to helped
We need to consider the person giving assistance and the person receiving this
Common sense does not always provide the appropriate answer to questions
about pro social behavior
Would think that the more people around the likelihood of getting help is
Goes against common sense
Bank and depression example
Leave money in the bank for the better of the town or take it out to safe self
During the depression most people took their money out ( short term >
Many people acting together to do act that one person alone could not
Groups depend on the combined effort and actions of each other
Understanding prosaical behavior: a common concern
How to determine if people are really interested in prosocial behavior?
Look at what they talk about
Not just restricted to one culture or period
Folktales and parabales about antisocial behavior
Adaptive value to prosocial behavior
No surprise that is present in every culture
Cited two stories we need to be concerned with the well being of others
Ba Yua story
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o Spreading fingers story
o First wife spread fingers to the sky
o Second wife spread food to all
Tales are relevant today
Warrior maiden story
o Scarifies self for others
o Extreme story of how a young girl risked her life for an entire village
Religion and Prosocial behavior
One common theme is the importance of others
Shown in Judaism, Islam Chinese ect
Common believe of benevolence and love for others
Golden rule: do unto others as you would have other unto you
Prosocial rule that has not emereged from a single culture but is more of a
universal rule of social behavoour
The golden rule has been codified to certain extents in certain relegions
Examples: must provide 10% of income
o These specific presecripions prove how we have a natural tendency to
behave selfishly.
Laws are put in place to promote unnatural behaviours
Society do not typically pass laws tto reinforce or endorse appropriate behavior
that are already being displayed]
When explicit rules are put into place it is reasonable to surmise that people are
not spontaneously going to do them
The goldren ladder of charity (Maimonides)b,.bn
o Bottom two rungs are help that is given reluctantly
o Middle rungs are help that is not given unless asked for
o Higher rungs given anonymously
o Highest rung given prevents future need ( teaching a new trade)
o Also includes how asking for help may lower self esteem
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Religious writing look at not ought but how do people act
Philosophers and prosocial behavior
Socrates thought people were innately selfish
Platosaid we have basic selfish needs but they can be curbed by laws ( or else
we would be savage beasts)
Aristotlebasically noble and concerned with the well being of others.
o He also said that the benefactor receives a more positive feelings for the
recipient than vice versa
o Asymmetry with helper and those who are helped
Now onto 15th century theories…
o Macaevilli philosopher of these times
o influenced by the times
o this was the time in which the Medici family did vicous things to come to
o philosopher used this family as an example to which they said that
people do not care about others unless it has something it in for
o the prince may have done things for his subjects but only if we got things
in return
17th centuray Thomas Hobbes
o individual against individual
o selfishness might produce helping but the motivation is no prososial
o the only thing that motivates others is the fear of some outside agent
who would punish
o everyman against everyman
o agreed with plato that the only situation that keeps people in check is
social contracts
o the best government according to Hobbes is one with protection from
others but minimal constraint on self
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