Chapter 11 Reading Notes
Chapter 11 Reading Notes PSYC2012
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emily Lowe on Tuesday March 31, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC2012 at George Washington University taught by Dr. Duval in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 178 views.
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Date Created: 03/31/15
Reading Notes Social Psychology Chapter 11 Prosocial Behavior Why Do People Help Prosocial Behavior any act performed with the goal of benefiting another person Could be acted on out of selfinterest hoping to get something in return Altruistic Behavior desire to help another person even if it involves a cost to the helper Helping purely out of the desire to benefit someone else with no benefit Example 911 heroes who helped others escape the towers and the passengers of United flight 93 who couldn t stop the plane so instead crashed it in a field Evolutionary Psychology Instincts and Genes very controversial Darwin realized early on that there is a problem with evolutionary theory in that why would someone sacrifice themselves to help another Evolutionary theory says we will do anything to pass on our genes to offspring Kin Selection idea that behaviors that help a genetic relative are favored by natural selection Can increase chances of genes being passed on not only by saving themselves but by also ensuring survival of blood relatives Studies have shown this only really applies in lifethreatening situations Not suggesting that people consciously think about this in these situations but instead that kin selection has become ingrained in human behavior over millennia Norm of Reciprocity expectation that helping others will increase the likelihood that they will help us in the future Some researchers suggest that gratitude positive feelings caused by the perception that one has been helped by others evolved in order to regulate reciprocity Group selection comes into play in that it is likely that a group of altruistic individuals are more likely to survive as compared to a group of selfish individuals Social Exchange Theory much of what we do stems from the desire to maximize our rewards and minimize our costs Difference in evolutionary approaches is that this doesn t trace back to our evolutionary roots nor does it assume that the desire is genetically based Social psychologists believe that people in their relationships with others try to maximize the ratio of social rewards to social costs This theory also suggests that true altruism does not exist Example Abe Zelmanowitz stayed behind in the towers to help his quadriplegic friend He could have done this because the thought of leaving him behind was too distressing and he could not have just let him die Social psychologists are likely to believe that true altruism does indeed exist Empathy ability to put oneself in the shoes of another and to experience events and emotions the way that person experiences them When true altruism is most likely to come into play EmpathyAltruism Hypothesis when we feel empathy for another person we will attempt to help that person for purely altruistic reasons regardless of what we have to gain The trick is figuring out when behavior is truly altruistic or if it is motivated by personal gain Example A study was conducted by an E who told the participant that they were testing pilot tapes for the universities new radio station The participant was listening to a tape from a girl who suffered a car accident and as a result broke both her legs is in a wheelchair and cannot go to her psychology class The E gave the participant a note from the victim s professor asking whether or not the participant would be willing to help catch her up One group was told to imagine how the girl felt about what happened and how it changed her life Another group was told to be objective and not be concerned with how she felt In the high empathy group more people reported feeling sympathy for her versus the low empathy group There was another level in which some people were told the girl was in their class and they would see her every class The other group was told that the girl was studying from home so she would never be in class Results In the highempathy condition the participants in both the seeing her every class and the never seeing her in class groups responded about equally to help her The lowempathy condition was much more likely to help her if they had been told they would see her everyday This confirmed the empathyaltruism hypothesis Three main findings 1 Helping is an instinctive reaction to promote welfare of those genetically similar to us Evolutionary psychology 2 Rewards of helping often outweigh costs so helping is in our selfinterest Social Exchange Theory 3 Under some conditions powerful feelings of empathy and compassion for the victim prompt selfless giving EmpathyAltruism Hypothesis Altruistic Personality qualities that causes an individual to help others in a wide variety of situations Problem personality does not completely describe behavior because situational factors come into play Problem 2 research shows that those who score high on altruism on personality tests are not much more likely to help than those who score lower Gender differences in prosocial behavior Men are more likely to help when it involves chivalry and heroic tasks Women are more likely to help when it involves social support and engaging in volunteer work that involves helping others Crosscultural evidence supports this Cultural differences in prosocial behavior lngroup group with which an individual identifies as a member More likely to help another when you are in the same group Outgroup any group with which an individual does not identify More likely to not help someone of a different group On the other hand there is ample evidence suggesting people will go out of their way to help disadvantaged strangers and rise to the occasion when an individual is in need even if they are in different groups Research suggests that we are more likely to help lnGroup members purely altruistically and that we are more likely to help OutGroup members if there is something in it for us like feeling good about ourselves Some research suggests that countries who value simpatia friendly polite good natured pleasant and helpful will be more likely to help than those countries who do not but views are mixed on this Religion and prosocial behavior Only more likely to help when others will know that they helped and that it is in their best interests to do so Mood and prosocial behavior Positive Mood feel good do good Example A study was done in that the E left a dime in a pay phone before cell phones 10 cents then 50 cents now and then had an actor drop a manilla folder of papers a few feet in front of the subject Results only 4 who did not find a dime helped but 84 of those who did find a dime helped Happens for three reasons 1 good moods make us look on the bright side of life 2 helping other people is an excellent way of prolonging our positive mood 3 increases the amount of attention we pay to ourselves and this factor in turn makes us more likely to behave according to our values and ideals Feel bad do good When people have done something that makes them feel guilty they are more likely to help because good deeds cancel out bad ones When people are sad they are also more likely to help because helping lifts our moods Environment and prosocial behavior Rural areas have been found to have higher helping rates than urban areas in several countries Urban Overload Hypothesis theory that people living in cities are constantly bombarded with stimulation and that they keep to themselves to avoid being overwhelmed by it In other words research has showed that living in urban areas makes people less altruistic by nature Residential Mobility and prosocial behavior People who have lived in the same place for a long time are more likely to be prosocial than those who move often It has also shown that those who have been involved with the same people for a while even for just a few hours will be more likely to be helpful than those who keep switching the people they are with One reason urban dwellers are less likely to help could be because those who live in cities are more likely to have recently moved there Bystander Effect finding that the greater the number of bystanders who witness an emergency the less likely any one of them is to help Research studies have supported this time and time again the more bystanders there are the less likely one is to help Latane and Darley s 5step description of how people decide whether or not to help 1 Noticing an event you have to notice it to be able to help Those who are hurrying are less likely to help as researcher has supported 2 Interpreting the event as an emergency if people assume nothing is wrong when an emergency is taking place they will not help Pluralistic Ignorance the case in which people think that everyone else is interpreting a situation in a certain way when in fact they are not If no one else looks concerned why should I 3 Assuming responsibility even if we think a situation is an emergency they need to think it is their responsibility to help to actually help Diffusion of Responsibility when each bystander s sense of responsibility to help decrease as the number of witnesses increases Particularly true if someone feels someone else has already intervened Simply imagining ourselves in a group is enough for diffusion of responsibility 4 Knowing how to help 5 Deciding to implement the help may not be qualified to administer help may be afraid of making a fool of yourself or doing the wrong thing or making matters worse even placing yourself in danger by helping SIDE NOTE Professor Duval combines step 1 and 2 to make a four step model Communal vs Exchange Relationships Communal Relationships people s primary concern is the welfare of the other person Child and mother Concerned less with benefits they will receive from helping and more with simply satisfying needs of others Exchange Relationships governed by concerns about equity what you put into the relationship equals what you get out of it Concerned with what they are getting in return from other people Research has shown that we are more likely to help a friend in a communal vs a friend in an exchange relationship also that we are more likely to help a friend than a stranger except in one situation This situation is if the help is being asked of in an important area of someones life Example You are struggling in a physics course but you want more than anything to become a doctor A friend and a stranger asked you for notes from a class they missed You are more likely to give them to a stranger because it is hard to see a friend do better than you in something that is important to you Effects of media violent video games and music lyrics Research suggests playing prosocial video games can increases people s levels of cooperation and likelihood to help Research shows that listening to songs with prosocial lyrics increases people s helpfulness This also applies to romantic lyrics Example Study was done in which a participant walked into a waiting room playing either a romantic song or neutral song They were then put in a room and performed a task with the E and another male participant really an actor During a break the man asked for her number and those who heard a romantic song were more likely to say yes than those who heard a neutral song How can helping be increased Outside point some people do not want to be helped maybe the task they cannot accomplish has made them frustrated and they resent the helper Increasing likelihood that bystanders will intervene If someone is aware of the Bystander Effect they are more likely to realize no one else will intervene and that they need to This has been seen in real life and has been experimented on and upheld Positive psychology and prosocial behavior Positive psychology is a new field that was started by a man who decided psych should not just focus on disease weakness and damage but needs to include the positive aspects of social beings The study of prosocial behavior is both positive psychology and focuses on the dark side
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