Prosocial behaviour and altruism

Personal behaviour is any behaviour that is intended to benefit others. Why do we engage in this behaviour? Psychologists believe that there are several reasons but generally for selfish purposes, so that we feel better about ourselves. Egoistic motivation: helping so that you feel ggo about yourself

Altruism: helping without any expectation of benefits for oneself It is possible for any helping behaviour to be tuly selfless? Is it possible for any act to be truly altruistic?

Altruistic motivation refers to selfless motivation to act whereby the motivation for the helping behaviour isn? t personal benefit but rather a concern for the welfare of the other person, despite the possible costs of acting. Batson(1991) defines altruism as a motivational state with the ultimate goal of increasing another? s welfare?. The empathy altruism hypothesis: Batson hypothesized that an emotional response is generated when another person is perceived to be in need and we are then motivated to help that person for their own sake and no tour own.

Goes on to suggest that the perception of need begins with the perception that the other person is actually experiencing a mismatch between their current state and their potential state e. g. a person is currently hungry or sad when they could be full or happy. Implies that the observer must have knowledge about the person? s current as well as potential state. The person will then likely evaluate the situation in terms of possible rewards and costs for helping or adopt the perspective of the person in need and exhibit empathy.

The strength of the empathic response is base don how great the need is perceived to be as well as the strenghts of the observer? s attachment to the person. The theory has been empirically tested and supported however it still remains The kin selection hypothesis: developed by sociobiologists and evolutionary theorist, this hypothesis states that altruism has a survival advantage. Operates on the premise that helping others in your family group will increase the chances of the genes that caused the helping behaviour to be passed on.

Implies that while the individual may decrease their chance of survival by helping others, they also increase the chances of the shared genes being passed on and ensuring the gene? s survival

Research conducted by Sime(1983) found that people fleeing from a burning building tended to stay in groups if they were with family members, which in turn can favor a group survival. There is the concern of how exactly altruism is helpful to one? s own survival if 1 is risking their own survival and reducing their own Access to resources to begin with.