What Is Altruism - Susan Wang Period 4 What Is Altruism 1 a...

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Susan Wang Period 4 What Is Altruism? 1. a.) Most people grow up with the mindset of wanting to make a difference in the world. Becoming altruistic is a method for humans to feel powerful and to have a purpose. They want to have the ability to influence another’s life. For example, randomly walking up to a hobo and giving him a case full of cash may forever save him from living on the streets. Humans may also act altruistically to brighten other people’s days in return for that proud/rewarding sensation. Others may just want to avoid the guilt of leaving someone behind to suffer. In order for some people to feel better about themselves, they would occasionally act selflessly towards others. Those are the ones who most likely have messed up either their life or other people’s lives. They are attempting to conceal their gloomy past with positive behaviors. Another reason for altruistic behavior may simply be publicity or recognition. Celebrities constantly donate to charity or save a life to gain the public attention. It boosts their fame. Despite the reason for altruism, most intentions are selfish because they are motivated by either intrinsically or extrinsically factors. b.) I believe this trait is learned throughout life. When babies are born, they only have the basic senses. They do not know what the world is like or how they should act. Babies are rather selfish at birth because they cry whenever they feel discomfort. Even as toddlers, they have to get what they want in order to stop whining. As we age, we learn to share with our friends. Whether it is through television shows like Barney or simply our parents, the message gets imprinted in to our heads. When we read superheroes in comic books or watch them on TV, they become our idols. We would want to be just like them and save the world. Of course there are always certain misbehaved children who copy the villains. When we become teenagers, we are more aware of the world around us. When tend to gain more emotions and acquire more pressure in life. This is usually the stage where we determine whether or not we want to become altruistic. The bitter students may think that they can not even take care of their own lives while those who are more selfless desire to
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This note was uploaded on 02/04/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 20 taught by Professor Sheng during the Summer '03 term at Hong Kong Shue Yan.

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What Is Altruism - Susan Wang Period 4 What Is Altruism 1 a...

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