Altruism and Moral Development

Altruism and Moral Development - Altruism and Moral...

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Altruism and Moral Development, Ch. 10 Prosocial Behavior: actions, such as sharing, helping, or comforting, which benefit other people. Altruism: a concern for the welfare of others that is expressed through such prosocial acts as sharing, cooperating, and helping. Motivational / Intentional Definition of Altruism: beneficial acts for which the actor’s primary motive or intent was to address the needs of others. Behavioral Definition of Altruism: behavior that benefits another person, regardless of the actor’s motives. Children as old as 12 favor this definition, making few distinctions between actors who helped others out of sympathy from those who helped to repay favors or to obtain tangible rewards. Theories of Altruism and Prosocial Development Biological Theories: Programmed for Prosocial Conduct? -Instinctive? -Altruistic gene? -Need for survival -Empathy is the biological substrate for altruism -Infants display primitive empathic response Psychoanalytic Theory: Let Conscience be your Guide -Young child is self-serving according to Freud -Norm of social responsibility -Superego Social-Learning Theory: What’s in it for me? -How are self-sacrificial tendencies acquired and maintained? -Some form of subtle reward even prompts all prosocial acts -Children learn that altruism “pays off” -Relieving Empathic Responses Capacity for empathy drives us to relieve others Reinforce by making helper feel good -Reinforcing Prosocial Acts If teachers praise, kids will feel good about being altruistic This leads kindness to become self-reinforcing
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This note was uploaded on 04/24/2008 for the course PSYCH 171 taught by Professor Conry-murray during the Spring '08 term at Rochester.

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Altruism and Moral Development - Altruism and Moral...

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