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ch 10 review - Altruism and Moral Development Ch 10...

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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 -Learning by observation Bandura- Social models Cognitive Theories of Altruism: Maturity is the Medium -4 broad phases of prosocial development Developmental Trends in Altruism Origins of Prosocial Behavior -Are toddlers capable of behaving compassionately? -Most toddlers first try to regulate their own personal distress -Affective Explanations : discipline that focuses a child’s attention on the harm or distress that his or her conduct has caused others. Age-Related Changes in Altruism -Toddlers are not eager to make self-sacrificial responses -Spontaneous acts of kindness are rare for toddlers -Sharing and helping emerge at early elementary onward Sex Differences -Girls are reported to help, comfort and share more than boys -Boys are less cooperative -Girls do not seek more help than boys Cognitive and Affective Contributors to Altruism Role Taking and Altruism -Proficient role-takers are more altruistic -Social perspective taking: the ability to infer others’ thoughts, intentions, attitudes and motives -Prosocial moral reasoning: the thinking that people display when deciding whether to help, share with, or comfort others when these actions could prove costly to themselves Prosocial Moral Reasoning -Preschoolers who have progressed beyond the hedonistic level of prosocial moral reasoning are more likely to help and to spontaneously share valuable commodities with their peers than those who still reason in a self-serving way.
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