ALTRUISM & COOPERATION (Psych 201 - Chapter 14 - Spring 2014)

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  • 1. This Week’s Playlist 1. Black Eyed Peas Where Is The Love? 2. The Beatles Help! 3. Dionne Warwick What The World Needs Now Is Love 4. Paul Metsa Kitty Genovese (Walkin’ in a Women’s World) 5. The Beatles Come Together 6. John Lennon Imagine 7. John Lennon Give Peace A Chance
  • 2. Chapter 14:
 Altruism Melanie B. Tannenbaum, M.A. Psych 201 Spring 2014
  • 3. Chapter overview • Altruism • Prosocial Behavior • Situational Determinants • Cultural Determinants • Evolution & Altruism ! • Cooperation
  • 4. Prosocial Behavior • Any action that helps another person, regardless of motives. ! • What might those motives be? • Social Rewards • Personal Distress • Empathic Concern
  • 5. Social Rewards • Praise, rewards, honors, & gratitude ! • People might do prosocial things because of the positive attention that they will get from others ! • Group members give greater social status and power to other group members who act altruistically
  • 6. Personal Distress • Seeing other people suffer can make you feel upset ! • The same neural circuits active when you experience pain are active when seeing others in pain ! • You might act prosocially to eliminate this personal distress and to make yourself feel better
  • 7. Empathic Concern ! • You might genuinely identify with another person, feel/ understand what they’re experiencing, and want to help ! • This is more about truly wanting to help another person than wanting to “look good” or feel better about yourself
  • 8. Social Rewards Personal Distress Empathic Concern
  • 9. 3 Motives • These motives are selfish or altruistic ! • Selfish • Social Rewards • Personal Distress ! • Altruistic • Empathic Concern
  • 10. 3 Motives • You might get a “reward” (like feeling good) when you do something altruistically...this doesn’t make it selfish! ! • It can be difficult to tell the motives apart... • Is it personal distress or empathy? ! • What matters are the intentions. • Are you motivated by rewards for yourself or “feeling better”? • Are you motivated by the desire to truly help others? ! •
  • 11. Empathy vs. Rewards • Female participant and confederate sat in separate cubicles ! • Participant was told to “form an impression” of confederate ! • Confederate wrote two “true notes” about herself, in which she reported feeling lonely and needing a friend. ! • Experimenter delivered notes from confederate to participant.
  • 12. Empathy vs. Rewards • Two Manipulations: ! • Empathy: Participant either had to read the notes objectively, or vividly imagine how the communicator felt ! • Social Evaluation: The notes were either sealed or open, so the participant thinks the experimenter saw them (or not) ! • “Would you like to participate in a long-term relationship study with the other person? If so, how many hours?”
  • 13. Empathy vs. Rewards • If you think the experimenter knows about the note, then offering to help out for a long time gives you social rewards ! • If you think experimenter doesn’t know, no social rewards. ! • Participants in the “high empathy” condition volunteered more hours, even when the envelope was sealed. • This shows that people can show altruism motivated by “real empathy,” even if they won’t get any “social rewards.”
  • 14. Empathy vs. Distress • Participants told they would watch a student receive electric shocks after giving wrong answers in a “learning” experiment • Participants must watch the student take the first 2 shocks, and then researchers measured how much the participants reported feeling distress (e.g., upset, worried, perturbed) and empathy (e.g., sympathy, compassion, tenderness). • The participants were then given the option to take the student’s place if they want him/her to stop suffering. • However... • Half had been told they could leave after 2 shocks (easy distress relief) • Half had been told they must watch her take all the shocks (no distress relief)
  • 15. Empathy vs. Distress • Participants who reported feeling more empathy were more likely to agree to trade places with her, rather than leaving. • Participants who reported feeling more distress were more likely to leave the experiment, rather than trading places. ! • Conclusion: If the main motivation for helping is to relieve personal distress, people given the option to relieve it an “easier way” will do that, rather than being altruistic. • People who feel more empathy are more likely to volunteer to relieve someone else’s pain.
  • 16. Volunteering • In the US, about 20% of people volunteer ! • People might volunteer for any of the three motives
  • 17. Volunteering • Researchers followed 423 elderly married couples for 5 years • How often did they give/receive help? ! ! ! • Helping others more was associated with a lower chance of death, controlling for initial health. • Receiving more help was not associated with longevity.
  • 18. Paul joins a volunteer effort to help feed the homeless because he feels guilty and upset whenever he reads about poverty, and he wants to stop feeling so bad. ! Paul’s motive is... A) Social Rewards B) Personal Distress C) Empathic Concern Test Your Knowledge
  • 19. Paul joins a volunteer effort to help feed the homeless because he knows how it feels to struggle through hard financial times, and he identifies with others in need. ! Paul’s motive is... A) Social Rewards B) Personal Distress C) Empathic Concern Test Your Knowledge
  • 20. Chapter overview • Altruism • Prosocial Behavior • Situational Determinants • Cultural Determinants • Evolution & Altruism ! • Cooperation
  • 21. Situational Determinants • 1. Presence of Others ! • 2. Ambiguous Situations ! • 3. Being Busy ! • 4. Victim Characteristics
  • 22. Presence of Others • Bystander Intervention: When people observing an emergency intervene and help the victim.
  • 23. The Story of Kitty Genovese • Kitty Genovese, 28, came home at 3 AM on 3/13/64 • Winston Moseley stalked her, tackled her in front of a bookstore near her apartment, and stabbed her. • She screamed for help, several neighboring apartment lights went on, and one man shouted. Reportedly, 38 people were around. • WM fled, and KG made it into her apartment entrance. • WM returned, stabbed her 8 more times, and sexually assaulted her. • A few minutes after the final attack, a neighbor called the police, who arrived with an ambulance, but it was too late.
  • 24. The Bystander Effect ! • Despite a number of observers (allegedly), no one called the police or helped Kitty Genovese until it was too late. Why? ! ! • The Bystander Effect • People are less likely to help when others are present.
  • 25. The Bystander Effect ! • Reason #1: Diffusion of Responsibility • When observing an emergency, people assume that others will help, so they don’t need to do anything ! • Reason #2: Pluralistic Ignorance • In an emergency, if no one else seems concerned or helps, you use that as information and assume everything is probably alright
  • 26. Diffusion of Responsibility • Darley & Latane, 1968 ! • Participants sat in cubicles, spoke through an intercom. ! • Either talked with 1 person, 2 people, or 5 people. ! • A confederate pretends that he’s having a seizure.
  • 27. Diffusion of Responsibility • Darley & Latane, 1968 ! • 1-on-1 condition: 85% of people helped • 3-person condition: 62% of people helped • 6-person condition: 31% of people helped ! • Conclusion: The more people who witness a person in trouble, the lower the probability any one person will help.
  • 28. Pluralistic Ignorance • Latane & Darley, 1968 ! • Participants filled out a stack of questionnaires, either... • Alone • With 2 other real participants • With 2 confederates trained to remain calm ! • Smoke begins to fill the room from underneath the door.
  • 29. Pluralistic Ignorance • Latane & Darley, 1968 ! • Alone: 75% leave and report the smoke • 2 Real Participants: 38% leave and report the smoke • 2 Calm Participants: 10% leave and report the smoke ! • Conclusion: Participants around others (especially calm others) construed the smoke as non-threatening because of informational social influence/pluralistic ignorance.
  • 30. Bystander Effect: Videos! • News Report • ! • British Demonstration • ! • Child Abduction • 6rjywnk?from=00
  • 31. Test Your Knowledge • According to research on the bystander effect, the more people that are around an emergency... ! • A. The more likely it is that any one person will help • B. The more personal distress people feel • C. The less likely it is that any one person will help • D. The less personal distress people feel
  • 32. Test Your Knowledge • Social norms that say we should remain calm and not “overreact” in public, thus leading most people to act calm around an emergency, can lead to the mistaken assumption that there is not “really” a problem. This is called... ! • A. Indifference • B. Altruism • C. Bystander Intervention • D. Pluralistic Ignorance
  • 33. Ambiguous Situations • People are more likely to help others who clearly need help. ! • Bystanders help victims who scream for help 75-100% of the time but they only help silent victims 25-40% of the time.
  • 34. Ambiguous Situations ! • Participants walked into a room... • Half walked in right as a confederate regained consciousness • Half saw the confederate faint, then regain consciousness ! • Participants who saw the confederate faint (making it clear it was an emergency) were more likely to help (89% vs. 13%)
  • 35. Being Busy • The “Good Samaritan” (Darley & Batson, 1973) • When participants were busy, they were less likely to stop and help the man on the street.
  • 36. Victim Characteristic #1:
 Costliness of Helping • “Blood On A Train” ! • A confederate on a train staggered and collapsed • ½ of the time, a trickle of blood flowed from his mouth ! • When blood was not present, he was helped 95% of the time • When blood was present, he was helped 65% of the time
  • 37. Victim Characteristic #2:
 Gender • Women are more likely to receive help than men • Attractive women and women dressed in feminine clothing are more likely to receive help than other women
  • 38. Victim Characteristic #3:
 Similarity ! • If a victim is similar to the bystander, the bystander is more likely to help (this could mean race, age, religion...) ! • Non-human primates will give up the opportunity to eat and will partially starve themselves if doing so terminates painful shocks being given to other members of their own species...but not other species.
  • 39. Situational Determinants • 1. Presence of Others • Bystander Effect • Diffusion of Responsibility • Pluralistic Ignorance • 2. Ambiguous Situations • Fainting Study • 3. Being Busy • Good Samaritan Study • 4. Victim Characteristics • Costliness (Blood) • Gender • Similarity
  • 40. How To Get Help? • Point out specific people (avoid diffusion of responsibility) ! • Clearly say you need help (avoid pluralistic ignorance) ! • Address requests for help to other people from your age group, racial group, gender... • Address requests for help to people who don’t look like they’re busy/in a rush ! • Don’t bleed ! ! • Be a woman
  • 41. Test Your Knowledge • Let’s say (God forbid) you are in an emergency situation. What should you NOT do to get help? ! • A) Clearly yell out and make sure people know you need help and it is an emergency ! • B) Make sure you are visibly bleeding ! • C) Direct your requests towards people who look like they are the same age, race, and gender as you ! • D) Single out a specific person to ask for help
  • 42. Chapter overview • Altruism • Prosocial Behavior • Situational Determinants • Cultural Determinants • Evolution & Altruism ! • Cooperation
  • 43. City or Country? ! People in rural areas report more empathic concern than people in urban areas ! • People are significantly more likely to help strangers in rural areas • The smaller the community, the stronger the effect
  • 44. City or Country? • Are city kids just jerks? • No! • Only current context predicts helping; where someone grew up makes no difference. • Why? • 1. Stimulus Overload: Cities are so busy, you can’t pay attention to everything around you. • 2. Diversity: People are more likely to help similar others; cities come with more diversity, so more dissimilar others. • 3. Diffusion of Responsibility: With more people around, it’s more likely to happen.
  • 45. Social Class • Social Class: A combination of (family) wealth, education, and job prestige (typically strongly correlated) ! • Lower Class people tend to be more empathetic • Better able to judge emotions (Kraus et al., 2010) • On average, give a higher percentage of money to charity ! • Why?! • Have fewer resources; important to build strong relationships • Upper class people with more resources can be more independent • People who need help/charity may be more likely to be similar
  • 46. Social Class ! • Lower and upper class participants watched a film clip • ½ saw a neutral clip (control) • ½ saw a clip of kids living in poverty (empathy) • A confederate showed up pretending to be a late participant and looking distressed • The experimenter said that the confederate wouldn’t have enough time to finish the experiment, but the participant could help him if he/she wanted
  • 47. Lower social class participants were always very helpful
  • 48. Upper social class participants only more likely to be helpful when they already felt compassionate
  • 49. Social Class • Lower class gives larger portion of income to charity ! • In the USA... • People making under $25,000/year donate 4.2% on average • People making over $100,000/year donate 2.7% on average
  • 50. Social Class • Donating money makes people feel happier than spending money on themselves! ! • People reported happiness first thing in the morning, then given an envelope with money in it • ½ told to pay a bill or buy themselves a gift by 5 PM • ½ told to buy a gift for another person by 5 PM ! • People who spent the money on someone else were happier that night, but those who spent it on themselves weren’t. ! • (Michael Norton TED Talk)
  • 51. Religion • Most religions emphasize prosocial behavior ! ! • Most religions try to motivate prosocial behavior by increasing empathic concern for other people
  • 52. Religion • Participants were primed with religious concepts or neutral concepts through a sentence completion task ! ! • They were then given $10 and asked to give some amount away to a stranger, if they were willing to do so.
  • 53. Religion
  • 54. Religion Primed with religion = Give away more!
  • 55. Religion Effect also occurs if you prime non-religious words that have to do with being polite, kind, etc.
  • 56. Religion Suggests that religion increases altruism because of a focus on kindness
  • 57. Religion Suggests that religion increases altruism because of a focus on kindness
  • 58. Test Your Knowledge • Which of the following is a reason for urban-rural differences in helping? ! • A) People who grow up in the city are meaner, so they help others less ! • B) People who live in cities are surrounded by more people who are similar to them, so they want to help others more ! • C) People in cities experience “stimulus overload”; there is too much to pay attention to at the same time ! • D) People who live in the country are less willing to trust others, so they help others less
  • 59. Chapter overview • Altruism • Prosocial Behavior • Situational Determinants • Cultural Determinants • Evolution & Altruism ! • Cooperation
  • 60. Why Help? • Hard to understand altruism from an evolutionary perspective • Natural selection favors behaviors that increase survival & reproduction • Helping others is very costly - devotes resources to others instead of ourselves or our families! ! • Two Evolutionary Theories • Kin Selection • Reciprocity 63
  • 61. Kin Selection • Tendency for natural selection to favor behaviors that increase the chances of survival of genetic relatives. ! • People should be more likely to help those who share more genes • Siblings > First Cousins > Second Cousins > Strangers… ! • We should have a highly developed capacity to recognize kin
  • 62. Kin Selection ! • Human mothers can recognize their new babies from photographs and from smells left by the baby on T-Shirts, even after having very little contact with them. ! ! • At least some nonhuman animals reared apart can recognize their kin through specific visual cues and smells!
  • 63. 66
  • 64. 67
  • 65. Kin Selection • Across many cultures, people report receiving more help from close kin than from more distant relatives or non relatives. ! • 73% of kidney donations occur between relatives ! • Identical twins cooperated about twice as often on a puzzle task as fraternal twins ! • Mothers seeing pictures of their own young babies showed activation in the orbitofrontal cortex (a region of the brain involved in prosocial approach behavior), but not when they see other cute babies.
  • 66. But… • There are many times when we help people we’re not related to! • We might lend our friends money, let them stay at our apartments during a breakup, help them move…(shudder) • People will sometimes even help total strangers!
  • 67. Reciprocity • In traditional, preliterate societies, people living in groups were best able to survive if they cooperated with one another. ! • Reciprocal Altruism: The tendency to help others with the expectation that they’re likely to help us back in the future. ! • Reciprocal altruism reduces the likelihood of dangerous conflict, helps overcome problems arising from scarce resources, allows alliances, and keeps individuals from becoming too dominant.
  • 68. Reciprocal Altruism • People will help non-kin if they expect that the non-kin are likely to return the help at some point in the future ! • Reciprocity is a universal human norm ! • Christmas Card Study • Researchers mailed Christmas cards to total strangers • 20% of them reciprocated by sending their own cards back... even though they had no idea who the senders were!
  • 69. Chapter overview • Altruism • Prosocial Behavior • Situational Determinants • Cultural Determinants • Evolution & Altruism ! • Cooperation
  • 70. Cooperation • Cooperation is essential for modern society! ! • We rely on others for most of what we need, and others rely on us. ! • Awwww.
  • 71. Cooperation ! • Cooperation involves decision-making under uncertainty. • Will others cooperate? • Will you get played? ! • This uncertainty can be simulated within the laboratory...
  • 72. Prisoner’s Dilemma Game • Two men are arrested for committing a crime. ! ! ! ! • Each must decide... • Do you stick to your story and avoid admitting to the crime? • Do you sell out your friend for a lighter personal sentence?
  • 73. Prisoner’s Dilemma Game If both stay quiet... They get a very short sentence. If only one confesses... The one who confesses goes free. ! The one who stays quiet gets a very long sentence. If both confess... They get a medium sentence.
  • 74. A B What action should you take to maximize your personal self-interest, disregarding the other partner’s actions?
  • 75. A B What would be the best strategy for you to take if your partner acts selfishly?
  • 76. A B What should both partners do if they want to maximize rewards for everyone?
  • 77. Prisoner’s Dilemma Game • Often played with multiple rounds; this makes long-term payoffs more important than short-term. • In the short-term, you do best if you defect and your partner cooperates, but they won’t take that for long... ! • Long-term payoffs are maximized if both people cooperate on most of the trials. ! • This is all about decision-making under uncertainty!
  • 78. Prisoner’s Dilemma Game • Real World Example: Arms Races • Option A: Build up weapons • Option B: Don’t build up weapons • You have to make your choice based on your enemy • Great example! • ! • (Modified) Prisoner’s Dilemma in The Dark Knight! • ! •
  • 79. Cooperation Determinants ! • Situation Construal ! • Partner Construal ! • Culture
  • 80. Situational Construal ! If people construe a situation as cooperative, they might act more cooperatively ! ! If people construe a situation as competitive, they might act more competitively
  • 81. Situational Construal • Participants told to play the Prisoner’s Dilemma game ! • Identified as cooperators or competitors ! • Researchers manipulated the name of the game • ½ were told the game was called “The Community Game” • ½ were told the game was called “The Wall Street Game”
  • 82. Participants were twice as likely to cooperate if they saw it as the Community Game
  • 83. Situational Construal • Participants entered, were told about the Prisoner’s Dilemma ! • Researchers asked them to describe the game in own words • Some indicated they thought competition was the goal • Some indicated they thought cooperation was the goal ! • Researchers paired off... • Cooperators & Cooperators • Competitors & Competitors • Cooperators & Competitors
  • 84. Situational Construal • Competitors made their partners more competitive and less cooperative, even if they began as cooperators. ! ! • Competitors were not able to accurately judge their partners; they always assumed they were interacting with competitors. ! ! Competitive people create competitive situations, even when they interact with cooperators.
  • 85. Partner Construal ! • Reputation: Beliefs, evaluations, and impressions people hold about others in their social network ! ! Being cooperative or competitive is a central component of a person’s reputation
  • 86. Partner Construal ! • Participants played a few rounds of a PD game • After a few rounds, they were assigned a new partner • Each partner was given the other player’s history of cooperation from the earlier rounds ! • If participants knew partners had history of cooperation, they were much more likely to cooperate themselves.
  • 87. Culture • The Ultimatum Game • Two people play (usually for 1 round) • The “allocator” is given a “stake” (like $10) • Must decide how much to keep for himself, and how much to give to the other participant (responder) ! • The responder can either accept or reject the offer • If the responder accepts, the deal goes through • If the responder rejects, neither gets anything!
  • 88. Culture • Participants in 15 different cultures played the UG • The stake was one day’s wage in the local culture ! • What would rationality suggest? • Offer the smallest amount possible (e.g. $1) • Responders should accept anything (better than $0) ! • However...
  • 89. Most people offer between 30 and 50 percent
  • 90. Culture ! • People in most cultures engage in substantial cooperation and prosocial behavior ! ! • Cultures that require more cooperation on a day-to-day basis tend to show greater generosity in the UG
  • 91. The Ultimate Strategy?
 Tit-For-Tat • Round 1: Start By Cooperating • Round 2 ! End: Copy Whatever Partner Did • If your partner defects, you defect next • If your partner cooperates, you cooperate next ! • Allows for the benefits of cooperation • Does not allow for exploitation • This is the optimal cooperation strategy.
  • 92. Are humans the only ones who cooperate?! • Even monkeys know how to cooperate... and when things are unfair. ! • ! •
  • 93. Thank you for a great semester, everyone!!! • REMEMBER: There will be an optional review session in class on Monday, and you can always e-mail me with any questions that come up while you’re studying. No class on Wednesday! • The study guide is up on Compass; I recommend that you study from that, old quizzes, and iClicker Test Your Knowledge questions!
  • 94. • PsySociety: • 201 Pinterest: • #PSYC201 • @melanietbaum, @UIUCPsych201 Thank you for a great semester, everyone!!!