Lec 11- prosocial behaviour

Lec 11- prosocial behaviour - Lecture 11 pro-social...

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Lecture 11- pro-social behaviour Notes made from Chapter 14 (p536- ) from course text Real life shows us many examples of altruism. Pro-social behaviour, helping behaviour and altruism Researchers typically refer to acts that benefit another as pro-social behaviour, helping behaviour or altruistic behaviour. However, these terms actually have very separate and different meanings. PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOUR- acts that are positively valued by society- contrast with antisocial behaviour. WISPE (1972)- defined pro-social behaviour as behaviour that has positive social consequences and contributes to the physical or psychological well-being of another person. Behaviour that falls into this category includes altruism, attraction, bystander intervention, charity, cooperation, friendship, helping, rescue, sacrifice, sympathy and trust. HELPING BEHAVIOUR- acts that intentionally benefit someone else (a sub- category of pro-social behaviour). The intention to benefit is the key aspect of this definition. ALTRUISM- a special form of helping behaviour, sometimes costly, that shows concern for fellow human beings and is performed without the expectation of personal gain; it is an act that is motivated by the desire to benefit another rather than oneself. STAUB (1977)- noted that there may also be ‘private’ rewards associated with acting pro-socially, such as feeling good. KITTY GENOVESE- was attacked on her way home by someone with a knife in 1964 in New York, although 38 people admitted to hearing the screaming, nobody came to her help and she was murdered. Although research on helping behaviour began in 1950, this murder led to much more research on helping behaviour. Pro-social behaviour is difficult to explain using traditional theories of human behaviour. Most psychologists, and philosophers have conceptualised human behaviour as EGOISTIC ; everything we do I ultimately done to benefit ourselves. NATURE-NURTURE CONTROVERSY- classic debate about whether genetic or environmental factors determine human behaviour. Nowadays scientists generally accept that it is an interaction of both. The question of why people help others is obviously an important one. It has been addressed from two major perspectives; a biological approach and a social learning approach. The biological approach This generally holds that, just as humans have innate tendencies to eat and drink, so they have innate tendencies to help others. Recently there has been a great deal of interest in the possibility that altruism is a trait that has evolutionary survival value. EVOLUTIONARY SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY- a biological theory claiming that complex social behaviour is adaptive and helps (a) the individual, (b) kin and (c) the species as a whole to survive.
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Many Socio-biologists point out that there are many acts of altruism commonly observed in a variety of animal species. For humans, modifications of Darwin’s theory of evolution are used to explain why altruism as a positive evolutionary trait. WILSON (1975,1978)-
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2008 for the course PSYCH 1003 taught by Professor Quigley during the Spring '07 term at Trinity College Dublin.

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Lec 11- prosocial behaviour - Lecture 11 pro-social...

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