Presentation on theme: "1 Lesson 6 Altruism and Aggression. 2 Lesson Outline Motivation to Help and Harm Helpers, Aggressors, and Targets The Contexts of Aggression and."— Presentation transcript:
2 Lesson Outline Motivation to Help and Harm Helpers, Aggressors, and Targets The Contexts of Aggression and Altruism
3 Aggression Aggression is any behavior intended to harm another person that the target person wants to avoid. –Heart surgery is not aggression. –A bungled assassination is aggression.
4 Prosocial Behavior Prosocial Behavior is a broad category of actions that are considered by society as being beneficial to others and as having positive social consequences.
5 Terms Related to Prosocial Behavior –Helping is prosocial behavior that has the consequence of providing some benefit to or improving the well-being of another person. People often help others without even intending to do so. –Altruism is helping that is intended to provide aid to someone else without expectation of any reward. The good feeling that may result is the reward.
6 Instinct and Evolution Evolutionary Theory: Any genetically determined physical attribute or trait that helps an individual survive will be passed on to the next generation. –This evolutionary principle can be used to explains selfish or aggressive behavior. Sociobiology is a theoretical perspective related to the principle of “survival of the fittest”.
7 Sociobiologists Viewpoint on Altruism Evolutionary psychologists say that altruistic behavior is selectively targeted to increase the chances that our own genes will be passed on to subsequent generations. –We are most likely to help those who are closely related to us. –Altruistic acts can increase the survival of one’s genes if those altruistic acts are directed toward others who share the same genes.
8 Evaluating the Evolutional Explanation of Aggression and Altruism Some critics argue that to explain altruism one must rely on cultural constructs, such as religious values, that define unrelated others as appropriate recipients of help. –Evolution is an incomplete explanation for altruism just as it is for aggression.
9 Costs, Rewards Even in the most other-oriented, charitable behavior, considerations of reward and cost influence decisions to give or withhold help. –All helping act imposes some cost on the helper (e.g., time, danger, expenditure of effort). The greater these costs, the less likely persons are to help. –There are also some costs to potential helpers for not helping (e.g., public disapproval by others, loss of face and embarrassment).
10 Social Learning Social Learning is the mechanism for producing the link between cost/benefit calculation. Many children learn aggressive behavior from their parents. –A longitudinal study of 717 boys found that boys who experienced harsh parenting practices at ages 10 to 12 were more likely to be involved in violent dating relationships at age 16.
11 Violence and Media: Television By age 18, the average American child is likely to have seen about 200,000 violent acts on television, including 40,000 homicides. –Research studies on violence and media consistently report moderate positive correlations between television viewing and aggressive behavior. –Causal effects can not be proved.
12 Empathic Response. Empathy is the vicarious experience of an emotion that is congruent with or possibly identical to the emotion that another person is experiencing. –Evidence supports the finding that feelings of empathy for a person in need will lead to helping behavior.
13 The Empathy-Altruism Model. This model proposes that adults can experience two distinct states of emotional arousal while witnessing another’s suffering: distress and empathy. –Distress: unpleasant emotions such as shock, alarm, worry, and upset at seeing another person suffer. –Empathy: emotions such as compassion, concern, warmth, and tenderness toward the other.
14 Similarity and Group Membership We are more likely to help those who resemble us in race, attitudes, political ideologies, and even mode of dress. –Field studies demonstrated that similarity of opinions and political ideologies increases helping. –Similarly, aggressive behavior usually involves two people of the same race or ethnicity.
15 Gender and Helping Men are more likely to engage in helping behavior that involves danger. Women are more likely to assist in situations requiring caretaking, nurturance, and emotional support.
16 Gender and Aggression The gender targets of aggression outside the family depend on the type of aggression. –More than 95% of reported cases of rape or sexual assault involve a male offender and a female victim. –More than 80% of violent crime involves aggravated assault, an attack by one person on another with the intent of causing bodily injury.
17 Beliefs and Norms These patterns indicate that the display of aggression is channeled by social beliefs and norms. –Observing violence within one’s family teaches a child that violence directed at children or spouses is acceptable. –Beliefs and norms in American society encourage men to direct sexual aggression toward women.
18 Acquaintanceship, Liking, and Aggression Knowing someone can increase the chances of an aggressive incident because the people we know are the ones most available to us as targets or participants in interpersonal conflict. –Aggression following harm is both more probable and stronger when we attribute the attack to the actor’s intentions rather than to accidental or legitimate external pressures.
19 Acquaintanceship, Liking and Helping Acquaintanceship and liking are key players in activating our propensity to help. –We are more likely to help someone we like than to help someone we do not like.
20 Quiz True of False? Your behavior toward others depends on the reason why someone needs your help or why someone earned aggressive reactions.
21 Deservingness and Intention Potential helpers respond more when the needy person’s dependency is caused by circumstances beyond his/her control. –Your neighbor lost his job due to reorganizational cutbacks. Aggression following harm is both more probable and stronger when we attribute the attack to the actor’s intentions rather than to accidental or legitimate external pressures. –A man who has smashed his grocery cart into us was trying to save a child from falling.
22 Bystander Intervention The term bystander intervention denotes a quick response by a person witnessing an emergency to help someone who is endangered. –Bystander research was inspired by the tragic murder of a young woman named Catherine (Kitty). –A total of 38 people witnessed Kitty being stabbed, and later stalked and re-stabbed by an assailant. No one called the police even though Kitty cried for help. –35 minutes later, one neighbor called the police to get Kitty help, but she had died. Why did none of the bystanders offer assistance? –Definition of the situation (that is, no one defined it as an emergency) –Diffusion of responsibility
23 Social Norms Cultural norms mandate helping as appropriate/inappropriate depending on the conditions When mandated as appropriate, helping becomes an approved behavior, supported by social sanctions.
24 Norms and Aggression Negative reciprocity norm requires that the retaliation be proportionate to the provocation. –This saying “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” promotes retaliation for attacks. –In a national survey: More than 60% of American men considered it proper to respond to an attack on one’s family, property, or self by killing the attacker.