Psych Chapter 8 - Chapter 8 Prosocial Behavior Doing Whats...

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-1 Chapter 8: Prosocial Behavior: Doing What’s Best for Others What is Prosocial Behavior? Ÿ Prosocial behavior: doing something that is good for other people or for society as a whole, including behavior that respects others or allows society to operate; It builds relationships. (obeying rules, conforming to socially accepted standards of proper behavior and cooperating with others) Ÿ Society and culture can still bring immense benefits if people don’t perform altruistic, self-sacrificing acts, but if no one obeys the rules, society will fall apart and chaos will reign. Helping is not essential, but it some forms of it may be (what parents do for their children, etc.) Ÿ We rely on other people to follow their own self-interest while obeying the rules. ( Ex: Fair transactions.) Ÿ Rule of law: when members of a society respect and follow its rules. Ÿ Fairness and justice are important factors in predicting prosocial behavior. Main idea: people behave better when they believe the rules are fair. (Ex: if employees perceive the company they work for to be fair and just, they’re more likely to be good “company citizens;” They’re more likely to help co-workers or show support for their company without promise of reward. “Good soldier” syndrome= pattern of doing what’s best for the organization without gaining selfish benefits.) Ÿ Public circumstances generally promote prosocial behavior. (ex: videotaped: some believed they were being watched, some believed they weren‘t.- allowed to leave donation-7x higher donations in the public condition.) Shows that some helping is to make or sustain a good impression on the people who’re watching. Ÿ Self-interest dictates acting prosaically if it helps one belong to a group. 1) Born to Reciprocate Ÿ Reciprocity: the obligation to return in kind what another has done for us. Ÿ Most people consider reciprocity to be direct-you help someone who may help you later. Others have argued a sort of “karma” theory-you help someone and you’ll receive help from someone else, even strangers who may only know you through reputation. Ÿ Helping or refusing to help has an impact on one’s reputation within a group. Ÿ People’s willingness to request or accept help often depends on whether they think they’ll be able to pay it back. (ex: elderly people- their declining health and income are barriers to reciprocating help; so they may refuse to ask for help even when they need it because they believe they won’t be able to return the favor). 2) Born to Be Fair Ÿ Norms: standards established by society to tell it’s members what types of behavior are typical or expected. (norms that promote fairness can have an important influence on whether people contribute to the common good). Ex: equity and equality. Ÿ
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2008 for the course PSYCH 280 taught by Professor Bushman during the Fall '08 term at University of Michigan.

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Psych Chapter 8 - Chapter 8 Prosocial Behavior Doing Whats...

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