Discussion Paper Week 7

Discussion Paper Week 7 - Discussion for Week 7 by Ross...

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Discussion for Week 7 by Ross Avilla (PSC 245) This week, I was most intrigued by the work of Maner et al. (2002) in investigating whether “true” altruism really exists outside of so-called “selfish” motives. In this study, it was found that the effects of empathic-concern on prosocial behavior completely disappeared when one accounted for feelings of personal distress/negative affect and a feeling of oneness with the target. I thought this was a particularly interesting study, because it showed both the fallacy of one side’s argument for any type of “pure” altruism and the other side’s argument that altruism itself cannot exist when we can find other determining factors for prosocial behavior. If anything, I think Maner et al.’s study, rather than disproving altruism, was able to demonstrate two of its most important mediators—personally experiencing another’s pain and the sense of oneness that drives a compassionate response.
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Discussion Paper Week 7 - Discussion for Week 7 by Ross...

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