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p151_ch11_helping_post

p151_ch11_helping_post - Psychology 151 Chapter 11...

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1 Psychology 151 5/13/2009 Chapter 11: Helping “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” —The Dalai Lama Source of image: Microsoft Office Online. Altruism Wanting to help another person even if there is no benefit (& sometimes even a cost) to the helper. Source of image: Microsoft Office Online. Do you think that true altruism exists? Is there such thing as a purely selfless act? Overview 1. Evolutionary 2. Social norms 3. Social exchange theory 4. Empathy-altruism hypothesis Theoretical approaches to explaining altruism: Suppose there are people drowning… Your brother or your best friend? Your son or your brother? Your daughter or your spouse? Your brother or your cousin (both of whom you have never met)? #1: Evolutionary Psychology Approach The selfish gene view Explaining social behavior in terms of genetic factors that evolved over time according to the principles of natural selection. Kin Selection Behaviors that help a genetic relative are favored by natural selection. B/c blood relatives share your genes, the more you ensure their survival, the greater the chance those genes will flourish. Thus natural selection should favor altruistic acts directed toward genetic relatives.
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2 Kin selection Surveys: More likely to help genetic relatives than nonrelatives in life-and- death situations ( Burnstein, Crandall, & Kitayama, 1994 ) Survivors of a fire more likely to search for family before exiting (Sime, 1993) Males & females; American & Japanese #2: Learning Social Norms Obligation to return in kind what another has done for us Willingness to request or accept help often depends on ability to return in kind Norm of Reciprocity The expectation that helping others will increase the likelihood that they will help us in the future.
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