This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: Prosocial Behavior
-Any act performed with the intention of benefiting another person Helping is Complex... As with many of the topics we have discussed, understanding who will help and why they will help is a complex issue Avoid the Correspondence Bias Seemingly "self-less" helpers may not have the best intentions at heart Need to consider socialization, features of the situation, and individual differences Prosocial Behavior vs. Altruism Altruism: An act of helping that is inherently self less and may even be costly to you Who are we most likely to help? Parents Siblings Significant others Good friends Are we being selfless in these cases? Motives for Helping Note the distinction between Helping & Altruism From a Social Exchange Perspective: We desire to maximize our rewards and minimize our costs Heavy emphasis on Self-Interest Implicit calculation of ratios in our relationships Helping increases when rewards are high Social approval, increased feelings of self-worth Helping decreases when costs are high Embarrassment, pain, danger, too much time Does Altruism exist? From Social Exchange perspective, NO! Thoughts? E.g., you don't have a lot of money and you give a lot of it to a Charity E.g., You always give your friends rides to and from school, mall, etc., and you never ask for gasmoney You always do all the cleaning in your apartment and never ask your roommates to contribute Note that the social exchange explanation is at the group-level Derive their power from social processes Social Comparison Socialization Are there individual differences in the decision to help? Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis (Batson, 1991) Maintains that while people may help due to self-interest, they also help as a result of altruistic intentions when they feel empathy and compassion for the person If you can experience how the other person experiences emotions and events, you will help regardless of the costs Without empathy, self-interest Individual Differences in empathetic response If empathy is weak, social exchange processes more likely A Comparison example You are crossing the drill field when someone trips and falls over an "invisible stick," and the contents of their book-bag go flying What are you feeling right now? Individual Differences Empathy is not the only I.D. Mood Trait vs. State Positive vs. Negative Improved Social Outlook Mood maintenance Self-Focus Behave in regards to ideals Why? Positive Reinforcement Individual Differences Prosocial Personality Helping Identity Conscientiousness Agreeableness Equity Sensitivity Cultural Differences In-group vs. Out-group How strong is the line between them? Situational Factors Equity Based on perceptions of Social Exchange Cooperative vs. Competitive environment E.g., Volunteering E.g., You regularly help coworkers due to empathy/compassion and then your Supervisor Tells you that he is giving you a raise because you have been so helpful Will you still be motivated to help? Norms Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation Situational Factors: Emergencies Interpretation of the event Pluralistic Ignorance Knowing how to help A person has been in a terrible car accident and is unconscious and bleeding profusely in the car Afraid of making the matter worse A person appears to need CPR, and although you learned it, you are not sure you remember it completely Not confident in your ability to help Risk of getting injured yourself E.g., you see someone drowning on the beach and you feel compelled to help, but you know you are not a strong swimmer Your decision will be affected by the # of bystanders Diffusion of responsibility Evaluating Others' Helpfulness As a bystander, how can you tell if someone is helping due to altruism or self-interest? A friend of yours tells you that he can't hang out on Saturday because he will be tutoring a mutual friend in physics You are at work, and a coworker "goes beyond his job description" to assist another coworker A friend of yours tells you that she donated all of her Birthday $$$ to the Red Cross How to increase helping behavior Positive Psychology Emphasize people's strengths and virtues Cognitive Dissonance Avoid the bystander effect Increased awareness regarding the prevalence of your "social exchange" ratios Education about deterrents to helping ...
View Full Document
- Spring '07
- Social Psychology