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Chapter 13: Altruism Social Psychology by Tom Gilovich, Dacher Keltner, and Richard Nisbett.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 13: Altruism Social Psychology by Tom Gilovich, Dacher Keltner, and Richard Nisbett."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 13: Altruism Social Psychology by Tom Gilovich, Dacher Keltner, and Richard Nisbett

2 Altruism Altruism - unselfish behavior that benefits others without regard to the consequences for the self What stops us from helping others? Why do we help others? How do we react to receiving help? How can we increase helping behavior?

3 The Problem Why don’t people help? – Fear of danger – Disruption of own life – People are not prepared – Worried about looking foolish?

4 Essential Steps To Help in Emergency Yes No Notice the situation? No help Interpret as emergency? Yes No Assume responsibility? Yes No No help Try to help Yes No No help Have needed skill

5 Noticing and Interpreting Situations The Smoke Filled Room Seminary Students

6 Assuming Responsibility Latané & Darley’s “seizure study” – discuss student life over intercom – no one else would be listening in – 3 conditions talking to 1 other person talking to 2 other people talking to 5 other people – one “subject” had seizure – pleaded for help – what % helped in each situation?

7 The Bystander Effect Bystander effect- helping decreases as number of bystanders increases – Noticing and Interpreting ambiguity pluralistic ignorance – Assuming Responsibility diffusion of responsibility high costs to intervene – Having necessary skills fear of looking foolish

8 Factors Affecting Helping Helping increases if victim is: – attractive – similar to bystander – not perceived as responsible for their plight Note: blaming the victim restores one’s sense of perceived control over events Helping increases in situations where: – there are few other bystanders – we are in a small town or rural area we are in a small town or rural area

9 Factors Affecting Helping Cont’d Helping increases if the helper is: – not in a hurry – feeling guilty about something – in a good mood in a good mood – an altruistic person an altruistic person

10 Effects of Mood on Helping In general, the results are mixed Mood increases helping when: – good mood stimulates positive thoughts and actions – helping can improve bad mood (feel-bad, do-good) Mood decreases helping when: – helping might spoil your good mood (unpleasant consequences such as embarrassment or danger) – bad mood leads you to focus on yourself

11 Gender Differences in Helping Men help more than women when: – act is dangerous (heroic) requiring certain skills such as changing flat or overpowering attacker – person in need of help is a woman (possible sexual motive) Women help more than men when: – giving to charity – caring for friends, family, and others

12 We do we help? Biologically-Oriented – Genetic determinism – Social exchange – Social norms Psychologically-Oriented – Empathy-Altruism – Empathetic Joy – Negative State Relief

13 Genetic Determinism Model Person observes emergency Unconscious desire to help occurs if the person perceives the victim to be genetically similar to himself or herself Person provides help in order to maximize the chances of survival of genes that are like those of the observer

14 Social Norms Hypothesis Person observes emergency Helping is prescribed by social norms reciprocity or social responsibility Person provides help because victim needs help and bystanders are expected to help those in need

15 Social Exchange Theory Person observes emergency Cost-benefit analysis conducted Person provides help if benefits outweigh the costs

16 Empathetic Joy Hypothesis Person observes emergency Situation leads to desire to act and to have a positive effect on the victim Person provides help in order to engage in an activity that has successful outcome, making the helper feel good

17 Negative-State Relief Model Person observes emergency Negative affect is aroused by the emergency situation, or person is experiencing negative affect based on something else Person provides help in order to reduce own negative affect and make the helper feel better

18 Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis Person observes emergency Empathy is aroused Person provides help simply because victim needs help.

19 Batson’s Experiments Participants were going to observe Elaine being shocked. Prior to observing shocks, participants were exposed to Elaine’s responses on an attitude questionnaire. Two conditions created – High empathy Very similar to Elaine – Low Empathy Not similar to Elaine Manipulated ease of escape

20 Batson’s Experiments (#2) Same Scenario Did NOT manipulate similarity Measured participant emotions and categorized them as high or low empathy Manipulated ease of escape in the same way as before.

21 Batson’s Experiments (#3) Misattribution paradigm – Participants all took a placebo High empathy condition – Told pill would make them feel uneasy Low empathy condition – Told pill would make them feel warm and fuzzy inside

22 Summary of Batson Empathetically-oriented people help for altruistic motives rather than egoistic ones. – Want to relieve other person’s distress, not your own

23 Reactions to Receiving Help High helper-victim similarity (friend, peer) – negative affect (feel incompetent, resent helper) – lowered self-esteem – motivated to self-help in the future Note: reactions typically occur in high-threat situations Low helper-victim similarity (non-friend) – positive affect (feel good, appreciative) – positive self-image – less motivated to self-help in the future

24 Ways to Increase Helping When dealing with potential emergencies: become aware of factors which inhibit helping (diffusion of responsibility, ambiguity, etc.) if you see something unusual, consider various possibilities (seek additional evidence) be willing to be wrong or look foolish assume responsibility gain confidence/competence (e.g., CPR) seek exposure to prosocial models

25 Study Smarter: Student Website Chapter Reviews Diagnostic Quizzes Vocabulary Flashcards Apply It! Exercises


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