Help and Altruism (Chapter 11) -Prosocial behavior ? broad category of actions that are considered by society as being beneficial to others and as having positive social consequences -Helping ? any action that has the consequence of providing some benefit to or improving the well-being of another person -Altruism ? helping that is intended to provide aid to someone else without the expectation of any reward -Motivation to help others -egoism and cost-reward motivation -Egoism ? helping behavior motivated by a person?s sense of self-gratification -rewards of helping -greater costs decrease the likelihood of helping another -Altruism and Empathic concern -Empathy ? vicarious experience of an emotion that is congruent with or possibly identical to the emotion that another person is experiencing -empathy is increased when there is perceived similarity -Empathy-altruism model ? proposes that adults can experience two distinct states of emotional arousal while witnessing another?s suffering: distress and empathy. These states of emotional arousal give rise to different motivations -Evolution and Helping -based on Darwinian principle of survival of the fittest -genetic fitness and helping -Kin selection ? increase of the survival of one?s genes if those altruistic acts are directed toward others who share the same genes -if all members of a group behave altruistically, they as a whole are more likely to survive -Characteristics of the needy that foster helping -acquaintanceship and liking -similarity -deservingness -Normative factors in helping -norms of responsibility and reciprocity -Social responsibility norm ? general norm stating that individuals should help others who are dependent on them -the norm that we must help dependent kin or needy friends is widely accepted, however the norm that we must help strangers or unknown others is not universally accepted -fairly weak source of motivation to help and can easily be negated by the costs of helping -Norm of reciprocity ? states that people should help those who have helped them and not help those who have denied them help for no legitimate reason -Personal norms and helping -Personal and situational factors in helping -Modeling effects ? having a model increases the likelihood of altruistic behavior -applies to adults and children -gender differences -men are more likely to intervene and offer assistance in emergency situations that entail danger -good and bad moods -when in a good mood individuals are more likely to help others -under some conditions a bad mood inhibits helping, in others it promotes helping -Negative-state relief hypothesis ? persons experiencing unpleasant feelings will be motivated to reduce them and many persons have learned from childhood that helping others will improve their own mood, often through the receipt of thanks of praise (this is an egoistic drive, not an altruistic drive) -guilt and helping -Guilt ? negative emotional state aroused when we transgress against others or do something we consider wrong -a state of guilt can often lead to helping others, this may allow the transgressor to relieve their feelings of guilt (this is more of an egoistic drive) -Bystander intervention in emergency situations -decision to intervene -Bystander intervention ? a response by a person witnessing an emergency to help another who is endangered by events -Lantane and Darley (1970) 1. bystander must notice the situation 2. must interpret the situation as an emergency 3. the bystander must take personal responsibility 4. the bystander must know how to help 5. the bystander must make the decision to act -Shotland and Huston?s (1979) five characteristics of a situation that will lead to the interpretation that it is an emergency 1. incident is sudden and unexpected 2. there is a clear threat of harm 3. the harm the victim will increase unless help is provided 4. the victim cannot address the problem without assistance from someone else 5. there is something the bystander can do to help -Bystander effect ? as the number of bystanders increases, the likelihood that any one bystander will help a victim decreases -interpreting the situation -if others appear calm, individuals often remain calm, leading to an increased inhibition to act -Evaluation apprehension ? concern about what others expect of them and how others will evaluate their behavior -Diffusion of responsibility ? when a bystander does not take action to help because other persons share the responsibility for intervening -Implicit bystander effect ? when bystander intervention can also be reduced merely by thinking about other people, even if they are not there -Costs and emergency intervention -arousal/cost-reward model ? proposes that bystanders weigh the needs of the victim and their own needs and goals, and then decided whether helping is too costly in the circumstances -intervention as a function of cost -bystander takes into account their own costs of helping and the costs of helping the victim -evidence regarding cost -Seeking and receiving help -help and obligation -if the individual receiving help lack the capacity to repay, they are less likely to ask for help, this is especially true when they have a high self-esteem -threats to self-esteem -ego centrality -help is threatening to self-esteem and less likely to be sought or accepted gratefully by persons in need, when it implies inferiority in intelligence, competence, morality or other qualities that are central to a recipient?s self-concept -similarity of help provider -threats to self-esteem as a motivator
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