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ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Helping others.

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Presentation on theme: "ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Helping others."— Presentation transcript:

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2 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Helping others

3 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Three true stories: One In 1964, in the Queens district of New York City, Kitty Genovese was sexually assaulted and stabbed eight times. Overall the attack lasted 45 minutes, but in fact there were three separate attacks. The killer was scared off twice by Kitty's screams and struggles ("Oh my God, he stabbed me! Please help me! Please help me!"), and by the voices and lights of the 38 people who watched from their windows. As no-one intervened, however, he returned each time to attack again. No-one even called the police during the attack. One man phoned the police after Kitty was murdered, but he would not leave his name as he didn't want to get involved.

4 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Three true stories: Two Joe Delaney, a Kansas City Chiefs football player, saw people standing around a huge water-filled hole. Three boys had waded in, unaware that a short way out the bottom dropped off. Suddenly they were in over their heads and thrashing and screaming for help. As Joe alone dashed for the pond, a little boy asked, "Can you swim?" "I can't swim good," Joe answered, "but I've got to save those kids. If I don't come up, get somebody." One boy struggled back to safety. Later the other two - and Joe Delaney - were hauled out by rescuers, dead.

5 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Three true stories: Three During the second world war the SS Dorchester was torpedoed by the Nazi submarine U-456. There were four chaplains on board: Methodist George Fox; Rabbi Alexander Goode; Catholic John Washington; and Reformed Church minister Clark Poling. As the four chaplains arrived on the dark and steeply sloping deck they began to guide other men to their boat stations. They distributed life jackets and coaxed men over the side. In the icy, oil-smeared water, Pvt. William Bednar heard the chaplains preaching courage and found the strength to swim out until he reached a life-raft. Still on board, Grady Clark watched in awe as the chaplains handed out the last life jackets and then gave away their own. As Clark slipped into the waters he saw the chaplains standing - their arms linked-praying, in Latin, Hebrew, and English. Other men, now serene, joined them in a huddle as the Dorchester slid beneath the sea.

6 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Lecture contents A reminder of evolutionary psychology. Helping from an evolutionary perspective. The altruism question. A sequential decision-making framework for helping. The effect of standards (models and norms). Individual (personality) differences.

7 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Evolutionary psychology: A reminder “If a specific social behaviour enhances reproductive success, the genetic underpinnings of that behaviour are more likely to be passed on to subsequent generations” (Brehm et al., 2002, p. 347) “If...”  (i) This does not mean that alternative behaviours may not also be successful.  (ii) Specific behaviours are fit for specific environments. “...the genetic underpinnings of that behaviour...”  (i) If any.

8 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Evolution and helping Helping is typically more costly than non-helping.  Non-helping more ‘fit’ and so should become increasingly prevalent in subsequent generations. How then can evolutionary theory explain helping?  (i) Claim that helping has no genetic basis.  (ii) Deny that helping is necessarily more costly than non-helping. –Kinship selection. –Reciprocal altruism. –Group selection.

9 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Burnstein et al. (1994) Preferential helping of relatives in trouble

10 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides As you sow, so shall your genes reap Kinship selection  Just discussed. Reciprocal altruism  Helping someone increases our probability of being helped back when needed. Group selection  Helping the group may be repaid by virtue of receiving the benefits of being a group member.

11 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Baston (1991) The empathy-altruism hypothesis Psychological (motivational) altruism

12 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides The empathy-altruism paradigm and predictions

13 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Batson et al. (1981) Empathy-induced altruism

14 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Reward-seeking egoistic alternatives Negative state relief model (Cialdini et al., 1987)  High empathy increases sadness that can be relieved by obtaining the rewards of helping  Will only help others when doing so is necessary and effective for reducing negative personal affect, e.g., sadness. Empathic joy (Smith et al. 1989)  High empathy makes possible obtaining personal satisfaction when the needy other’s welfare is improved.  Will only help others when doing so is necessary and effective for increasing positive personal affect, e.g., joy.

15 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Latané & Darley (1970) Five steps to emergency-intervention

16 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Step 1: Noticing Piliavin et al. (1976)  More help when dramatic event witnessed rather than just aftermath of it. Mathews & Canon (1975)  More help without stimulus-overload (cf. Milgram, 1970). McMillen et al. (1977)  More help when in an ‘externally-attentive’ good mood than in a ‘self-absorbed’ bad one.

17 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Step 2: Interpreting Latané & Darley (1968)  Pluralistic ignorance can lead to reduced probability of an individual helping when in the presence of others and exposed to an ambiguous need for help. Clark & Word (1972)  When the need is not ambiguous, the presence of others has no effect on helping levels. Staub (1974)  The cues others give can reduce or increase the probability of an individual bystander giving help.

18 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Step 3: Taking personal responsibility Latané & Darley (1968)  The chances of any given participant helping in the “seizure study” decreased as numbers of observers seemingly increased.  Diffusion of responsibility - Taking less personal responsibility because one believes that others will (or should) provide help. Bickman (1971)  Responsibility not diffused when co-witnesses are clearly not able to help. Moriarty (1975)  Responsibility not diffused when specifically attached to a bystander.

19 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Steps 4 & 5: Choosing how to help, and Acting Shotland & Heinold (1985)  College students trained in first-aid were not more likely to help someone with profuse arterial bleeding.  They were, however, much more likely to do the right thing! Remember: sometimes the most helpful thing one can do is not provide direct assistance (cf. overhelping, Gilbert & Silvera, 1996).  Which of course adds to the ambiguity of whether and what help is need.

20 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Modelling helpfulness Ruston (1975) Actions speak louder than words - for a while

21 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides The altruistic personality There are individual differences in helpfulness across situations and times.  E.g. ‘Rescuers’ and 60s civil right activists were more helpful than than non-rescuers and non-activists years later. Rushton et al. (1984)  Genetic basis to this individual difference  In terms of “behavioural tendenices” and “helping-related emotions and reactions (such as empathy”), monozygotic twins are more similar to each other than are dizygotic twins.

22 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Rescuers, relative to non-rescuers (Oliner & Oliner, 1988) Greater actual and perceived similarity to Jews. More likely to have been directly asked to help. Parents more caring, much less likely to use punishment, and more likely to reason and explain. Much more likely to strongly identify with a highly moral (and morally acting) parent. More dispositional empathy. More willing to accept responsibility for own actions and others’ welfare. More extensivity (attachment to and empathy, concern, and responsibility for outgroup members). Higher self-efficacy.

23 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Ordinary helpers, relative to non-helpers, have More dispositional empathy  Davis (1983)  Correlation between empathy and donations to a telethon. Greater sense of responsibility  Berkowitz & Daniels (1964)  People high in social responsibility more likely to help needy dependents. ‘Other-oriented empathy’/extensivity  Penner et al. (1995)  Correlation between this and length of service as a volunteer. Greater self-efficacy  Rushton (1984)  Volunteers particularly high in self-efficacy.

24 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Interaction Staub (1974)  Those high in social responsibility and other-oriented moral reasoning were more likely to come to the aid of an ill person. Penner et al. (1995)  Those high in ‘other-oriented empathy’ and self-efficacy more helpful than those high in one or neither characteristic. Miller et al. (1996)  (“Cold”) moral reasoning and (“hot”) empathic arousal may be necessary for self-sacrificing prosocial action (see next slide).

25 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Miller et al. (1996) Interactive effects of children’s empathy and moral reasoning

26 ATP Social 9: Helping Others Tom Farsides Interactionism Snyder (1992)  Strong situational cues often reduce the impact of personality. Personality flourishes when situation cues weak. Carlo et al. (1991)  Used a procedure close to Batson’s ‘Elaine’ one.  Most people (78%) helped in difficult escape situation, with little difference according to extensivity-type measure.  In easy escape condition, 49% helped, with high-extensives more likely to help than low-extensives. Wilson (1976)  In emergency situation, personality variables related to arousal, emotionality, and risk-taking predict helping. Batson et al. (1976)  In non-emergency situations, personality variables related to cost-benefit concerns, confidence, and self-esteem predict helping.


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