Psychology of Human Relationships: Social Responsibility ...

Psychology of Human Relationships: Social Responsibility ...

Psychological Altruism Ms. Carmelitano Bell Ringer For homework you read about Patrick Morgan He witnessed an elderly woman fall into the gap between a train and platform. He risked his own life by jumping into the gap to pull the woman up.

Is his an act of altruism? Why or why not? Can this be explained by biological explanations of altruism? Why or why not? Re-cap Discussion What is the difference between the Kin selection theory and the Reciprocal altruism theory? How are they both examples of evolutionary

altruism? Psychological altruism Psychological altruism is witnessed in higherlevel animals It has a conscious cognitive component It is not just instinctual like biological altruism Lerner and Lichtman 1968

Participants were placed in pairs One participant was an actual participant the other was a confederate The participants were told that they would pick roles at random one would be the learner, who would receive electric shocks the other would administer the shocks The actor always got the role of the learner

When the participant noticed the actor was distressed about the role, most of the participants offered to switch roles How do we explain this? Is it instinctual to offer to take over the worse position? Would you offer to switch positions, why?

Psychological Altruism There are two reasons to explain why human beings offer to help people that they have no genetic connection with: Negative-State Relief Model Empathy-Altruism Model Although altruistic behaviors appear to be the epitome of unselfish behaviors, both of these

models describe altruism as selfish act that brings relief to the person preforming them Negative-State-Relief Model It is a selfish motive that leads us to help others in bad circumstances in order to reduce the distress we experience from watching the bad situation

This model will also explain why some people just walk away instead of offering to help Helping behavior happens only when the personal distress cannot be relieved by other actions Negative-State Relief Model People help because of egoism Egoism: the drive to maintain and enhance favorable views of oneself

Schaller and Cialdini 1988 Activity! Read the scenario given to you, and answer the question that follows. What would you do? Schaller and Cialdini 1988 Asked Graduate students to help grade undergraduate

thesis term papers Coffee was spilt on the papers, ruining them. Group 1: Spilled the coffee Group 2: Watched someone else spill coffee Some participants were given positive reinforcement IE: Its okay, you were doing me the favor, dont worry about it Others were given negative, guilt reinforcement

IE: Wow, you ruined all this work, I cannot give this student a grade, they will fail. Schaller and Cialdini The participants who had received praise were less likely to offer help later than those who were given negative feelings of guilt Example, helping re-write the paper Conclusions: In order to remove the negativestate the students were willing to be more

altruistic. Negative-State Relief Model Activity Who do you give money to? Why? Criticism : This model cannot accurately

predict how a person will act 100% of the time Altruistically or selfishly Empathy-altruism model Batson 1981 People can experience two types of emotions when they see someone suffering Personal distress anxiety or fear which will lead to egoistic helping

Empathetic concern sympathy, compassion, tenderness These will in turn lead to the altruistic behavior If you feel empathy towards another person, you will help him or her, regardless of what you may gain from it This occurs when you put yourself in the other persons position

This model removes the egoistic component of altruism When you do not feel empathy, you consider the costs and benefits of helping in making your decision Batsons experiment Female psychology students were asked to listen to tapes of an interview with a student

named Carol She talked about being in a car accident in which both of her legs were broken She talked about her struggles, and how far she was falling behind in school. Students were each given a letter, asking them to meet with Carol and share lecture notes with her Some were told to be concerned with how she

was feeling (high-empathy), others were told they did not need to be concerned with how she was feeling (low empathy) Some students were told she would be in their class (High-Cost) others were told she would not be in their class (Low-cost) Results Batson found that the participants in the group

with high-empathy and high-cost (Carol would be in their class and spoke in detail about her accident) were more likely to choose to help Carol. Those participants in the low-empathy and low-cost group (Carol did not discuss her feelings, and she would not be in their class) were more likely to choose not to help Carol.

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