Social lecture 6

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What is altruism?
When someone does an act benefiting others, with no concern for their own gains, even when theres a known cost.
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Is altruism real?
it is debated, as some people argue there is always some benefit people can extract from it
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What is prosocial behaviour?
Any behaviour/act which is helpful for another person, even if you thought it would benefit of you (regardless of motive)
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What is helping?
Behaviour intended to assist another person. (casual helping - telling someone, emergency helping - assisting in accident, substantial helping - lending money, emotional helping- comforting someone.
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Why do people help others?
Evolutionary pressures, mood, prosocial personality, concerns about justice
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Why does evolutionary theory struggle with altruism?
Suggests that natural selection should favour genes that lead to the survival of the individual, so selfish behaviour should be passed on.
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Why does evolutionary theory suggest we have altruism?
Kin selection -behaviours helping genetic relatives are favoured by natural selection
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How did Steward-Williams (2007) look into kin selection?
self-report study, asked people to consider help for friends/acquaintance/sibling and low/high cost behaviours. Low cost not much different, high-cost A then F and help siblings most
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What is Sime (1983) Affiliative model of escape v panic model?
Asked people after a fire if people looked for family, friends or strangers most? says family members adopt an optimal strategy as a group.
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What is reciprocal altruism (trivers)?
The idea of you if i scratch your back, you'll scratch mine. People help others so they can get help in the future.
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What was the study into is prosocial behaviour ingrained (automatic) done by Rand, Greene + Nowak (2012)?
People asked how much they would contribute to a common pool, looked at how long it took people to make a decision. Those who made fast decisions, 66% were willing to contribute, if people took longer than 10 seconds, people contribute less.
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What was the study into is prosocial behaviour ingrained (automatic) done by Rand, Green, Nowak (2012) ?
Gave people time pressure to make a decision, wait or answer within 10 sec, people who had to answer quickly, were more generous
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What did Rand, Greene + Nowak (2012) say about social norms, evolution and altruism?
That although it is tempting to conclude that cooperation is innate, it is not necessarily the case as intuitive responses could also be shaped by cultural evolution and social learning. However young children co-operate and it it is instinctive
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What does herbert simon (1990) say about norms and evolutionary psychology?
Maybe people have adapted to learn norms thus help and cooperate.
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What did Bateson, Nettle + Roberts (2006) say about cooperation and being watched?
Did a study where staff had an honesty box for tea/coffee, either had eyes on the box or no eyes. People paid more eyes when eyes were watching them
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What are criticisms of evolutionary explanations of altruism?
People guess about human development you cannot test it, massive modularity - brain has adapted to do specific things, however brain adapts during life, ignores person/situation explanations.
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What was the study which looked at if societies differ in helping? (Levine et al (2001)
Thought city sized mattered, if it was wealthy or not,individual v collective cultural values, pace of life. did 3 types of non-emergency helping 1) dropped pen 2)limping dropped mags 3) helped blind cross street
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What were the results of the study which looked at if societies differ in helping? (Levine et al (2001)
The only variable which mattered was wealth of the country, wealthier countries were less likely to help than poorer countries. Size, values e.t.c don't matter
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What did Baston et al (1986) say about altruism?
Said there is such thing as an altruistic personality, more altruistic people have sympathy, social responsibility, empathy, emotional reactivity (don't mind crying, in touch with emotions), self-efficacy (can you actually help), high self-monitors
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What are high self-monitors? (Baston et al (1986) )
People notice what is required of them in the situation
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Does gender predict helping?
Yes, men win more awards. Suggests this is cuz men help in more 'heroic ways' - non-routine, short term encounters with strangers. Women are more helpful when nurturing and close relationships are required.
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Does mood predict helping?
Yes, when we feel good, we do good.
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Why does a good mood predict helping?
Good mood increases sympathy, helping others prolongs our good mood, increases self-esteem, increases self-attention/awareness , increases positivity
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Why does a bad mood predict helping?
When we feel bad we can do good, guilt can predict helping (study shows people help more before confession than after), negative-stare relief (helping makes you feel better)
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Why do people argue there is no altruism?
We become moral by choice not by nature, human morality is a thin overlay on an otherwise nasty nature.
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Frans de Wall argues there is altruism why?
We evolved from a long line of animal that care from the weak and build cooperation, we have other-focused emotions (empathy), morality is dictated to us by religion or social strictures, but is the product of our biological nature
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How did Baston test altruism?
Says people must experience empathy first (empathy-altruism hypothesis)
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How did Toi + Baston (1982) test empathy-alturism? (1/2)
Ps listened to a radio interview of student 'Carol' who broke both legs and is falling behind classes. High empathy: imagine how she is feeling low empathy: listen objectively. then ps give them a letter from carol asking if they would tutor her.
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How did Toi + Baston (1982) test empathy-alturism? (2/2)
High cost: Carol will be back next week (cuz you'll see her), Low cost: Carol's not coming back.
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What were the results of Toi + Baston (1982) test empathy-alturism?
High cost/low empathy - helped cuz would face her. Low cost/low empathy - less willing to help. high empathy - willing to help (high/low didn't matter)
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How do situational factors affect altruism?
Bystander effect - more people present, the less likely to get help
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What is the bystander intervention decision tree (what leads to helping)?
1. notice the event 2. interpret event as emergency (don't want to act like it's an emergency if it's not so look to others for cues(pluralistic ignorance)) 3. assume responsibility (diffusion of responsibility) 4. know to help 5. help
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How do you increase help at each stage of the bystander intervention decision tree (what leads to helping)?
1. if you need help ask for help and say it is an emergency, point to someone and assign responsibility . 2) If you are a giver be more aware and don't let others influence you, do something, learn first aid.
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What is justice?
When people treat each other as they are entitled or as they deserve/
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What does entitlement mean in terms of justice?
Based on laws, customs, principles, respect, autonomy, inheritances
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What does deservingness mean in terms of justice?
Treatment a person has earned because of their good or bad behaviour
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What are the two types of justice?
Procedural (the process/method), Distributive (the actual outcome)
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Is justice fundamentally important?
Yes, embedded in society, criminal justice systems
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What two functions does justice serve?
1) improved functioning for the individual (happiness/confidence), 2) benefits for the collective (working hard, respecting the law)
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What were the three principles of justice Deutsch (1975) identified?
Equity (outcomes should be proportional to merit and contribution, Equality: Resources should be distributed equally. Need: Focus should be on what people need to survive and thrive
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What is equity theory as a theory of justie?
People compare + evaluate the net benefits they receive compared to others (it is distressing to under and over benefit). People want fairness. If people put in the same amount of effort they should get the same reward.
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What is just world theory of justice?
We have a deep-seated need to perceive the world as just, children are socialised to follow rules, they need to switch from the pleasure principle to the reality principle (Delay of gratification, avoid punishment, earn rewards)
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What is the issue of the just world theory?
If something bad happens we can say it is because the person deserved it,
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Card 2


Is altruism real?


it is debated, as some people argue there is always some benefit people can extract from it

Card 3


What is prosocial behaviour?


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Card 4


What is helping?


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Card 5


Why do people help others?


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