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Unformatted text preview: Social Psych Text book summary chap. 10: Helping Section1: Chapter 10 Helping Others 337-343 September 11: 6 firefighters risked their lives helping an old lady walk down all the flights of stairs even though she didnt want to go on and that they knew the building was minutes away from collapsing. When it collapsed other rescue workers who had passed them earlier on didnt make it, but they did. They said she was their guardian angel, for if she was not there they would have been on a lower floor and would not have been in the shelter that protected them from the collapse. That day there were numerous acts of helping others, the small population of Gander, Newfoundland who selflessly took care of all the Americans stranded at their airport. Heroic acts of those on Flight 93. But there were also many people who turned their backs on others, even others who had helped them. Everyday there are situations where people help others and other situations where people neglect helping others. Ex: Man passes by collision and stops and saves the peoples lives, or girl gets murdered and police later find out that at least 3 neighbours heard her screaming and didnt intervene. Evolutionary and Motivational Factors: Why Do People Help? Prosocial behaviours : Actions intended to benefit others Evolutionary Factors in Helping Can evolutionary principles help explain who people help? Doesnt risking ones life for others contradict evolutionary principles like survival of the fittest? The Selfish Gene Survival of the fittest principle does not refer to the individual, but the survival of the individuals genes. From perspective of evolution, human social behaviour should be analyzed in terms of its contribution of reproductive success in ancestral environments: conception, birth and survival of offspring over course of many generations. But although being helped by others increases chance of survival long enough to reproduce and pass on genes, doesnt helping others reduce that chance? So shouldnt any genetic based tendencies for helping have dropped out of the gene pool long ago? o No. Can be explained by kinship selection : Preferential helping of genetic relatives, so that genes held in common will survive. o An innate characteristic, that is not contingent on learning for its development. However it can be influenced by learning, culture, etc. o Present in many other species. Some species individuals delay their own breeding to help parents take care of siblings cooperative breeding . o Thus kinship selection serves the function of genetic survival, and so preferential helping of genetic relatives is strongest when biological stakes are high....
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PSYC 215 taught by Professor Michaelsullivan during the Spring '08 term at McGill.
- Spring '08
- Social Psychology