Motivators of altruistic behavior in humans

Motivators of altruistic behavior in humans - Motivators of...

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Motivators of Altruistic 1 Running head: MOTIVATORS OF ALTRUISTIC Motivators of Altruistic Behavior in Humans Alex Cherubin Creighton University
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Motivators of Altruistic 2 Abstract This paper will examine several studies that investigate the effects of society, culture, and genetics on altruistic behavior in humans. Some studies indicate a strong correlation between social norms and altruistic behavior, while other studies show a stronger link between closely related genes and cultural evolution of altruistic traits and behaviors. The separate research demonstrates different motivators including the desire for reciprocity and reputation formation, display of altruistic rewards and punishments as driving forces. The genetic research does little to support the idea of gene driven altruism in large groups but factoring in cultural divisions provides a gene-culture coevolution that explains the presence of altruistic traits in modern society.
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Motivators of Altruistic 3 Motivators of Altruistic Behavior in Humans Strong Reciprocity Throughout human history there have been noble accounts of some individual’s sacrifice for the greater glory of some thing. These sacrifices are commonly referred to as altruistic acts, the act itself does not always require the sacrifice of ones life. These altruistic acts can be as common as letting an individual step in front of you in line because they have an infant or even as rare as pulling a complete stranger out of a burning car. As drastic as these appear to be they are common in their effects. They both require some sort of personal cost from the individual exhibiting the altruistic behaviors and they both place a benefit upon the person to whom the altruistic behaviors are directed. As simple as the principle of altruism may appear to be it is extremely complex and functions on many levels. Strong reciprocity is a combination of altruistic punishment and altruistic rewarding (Fehr & Fischbacher, 2003). Altruistic punishment is the action of imposing sanctions on other individuals for violating social norms and altruistic rewarding is the action of rewarding others for cooperating and abiding social norms. Both strategies work towards cooperation among a group of individuals. In order to study altruistic punishment researchers recruited a number of willing participants and had them participate in the ultimatum game. The ultimatum game consists of two players and a fixed sum of money. Person A, also known as the proposer, makes a proposal on how to divide the money and person B, the responder, can either accept or reject the proposal. If rejected neither persons receive any money and if accepted they both receive the allotted sums. The altruistic view of this game proposes
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course HRS 325 taught by Professor Cherney during the Spring '08 term at Creighton.

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Motivators of altruistic behavior in humans - Motivators of...

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