Prosocial behavior 2011 class


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Prosocial behavior 2011 class

  1. 1. Helping
  2. 2. Definitions• Prosocial behavior = any act performed with the goal of benefiting another person• Altruism = motive/desire to help another person even if it involves a cost (or at least no benefit) to the helper – no rewards for helping
  3. 3. Evolutionary psychology• Who would you save?• Twin vs. mother/father – save the person who is closer in our genetics, to pass on your genetics
  4. 4. Evolutionary psychology• 1 vs. 5 year old child – save the 5 year old, they will be more likely to survive• 20 vs. 40 year old child – save 20 year old, in reproductive stage
  5. 5. Evolutionary psychology• Who is the kinder grandmother? – maternal grandmother, because of maternal certainty (not sure with paternal grandparents, that it is the male’s child)
  6. 6. Evolutionary psychology• Male vs. female – female, because females can have children (needed more then men)
  7. 7. Why do we help?• Evolutionary Psychology – If the goal is to ensure our own survival, why should we help others at a cost to ourselves? – Kin selection = behaviors that help a genetic relative are favored by natural selection • Thus, a gene that causes an individual to help genetic relatives is actually helping a copy of itself • Example: People say they would be more likely to help their relatives than their non-relatives in life- threatening situations
  8. 8. Who do we help?• Burnstein, Crandall, & Kitayama (1994) – Participants in this study were asked to imagine scenarios like the following: • There are three people asleep in different rooms of a burning house: – Your 7 year-old female cousin – Your 75 year-old grandfather – A 21 year-old acquaintance• You have time to rescue only one… – Who do you save?
  9. 9. Burnstein, Crandall, & Kitayama (1994) High Mod. Low None (children, (grandparents) (first (acquaintances) parents) cousins) Degree of relatedness
  10. 10. Burnstein, Crandall, & Kitayama (1994) High Mod. Low None (children, (grandparents) (first (acquaintances) parents) cousins) Degree of relatedness
  11. 11. Burnstein, Crandall, & Kitayama (1994): Findings• Kin are helped more than non-kin, especially in life- or-death situations• Females are helped more than males, except elderly females (post-menopausal)• Young are helped more than old• Healthy relatives helped more than non-healthy in life-or-death situations• In life-or-death helping, relatedness matters (this assures that our genes will continue)• In everyday helping situations, needs prevail over genes
  12. 12. Why do we help?• Evolutionary Psychology – Why do we help non-kin? – Reciprocity: helping others now ensures that they help us later • Adaptive strategy for our ancestors  becomes genetically-based tendency
  13. 13. Why do we help?• Evolutionary psychology – Learning social norms • People who learn norms have a survival advantage  ability to learn norms becomes genetically-based – Other social norms • Social-responsibility norm = we should help those who are dependent on us • Norm of justice = we should help those who deserve help
  14. 14. Why do we help?• Social Learning Theory – Helping is learned through observation and reinforcement • Children learn to help by being rewarded – As people mature, reinforcements become less necessary • internalize the value of helping
  15. 15. Why do we help?• Social Exchange Theory – Maximizing rewards and minimizing costs – People will help when the rewards are high relative to the costs – Rewards: social approval, feeling good about yourself, increasing likelihood of being helped in future – Costs: physical danger, time, embarrassment, guilt
  16. 16. Who will help?• Gender Differences – Women are more likely to give long-term, nurturing help – Men are more likely to help in emergencies, especially when there is: • an audience • potential danger • a woman in need of help
  17. 17. Who will help?• Religiosity – Religious people are only slightly more likely to help during emergencies – Religious people are more likely to provide “planned” help – Examples: • volunteering, giving to charity
  18. 18. Who will help?• Mood – good moods can lead to helpful behavior• Examples – Tips on sunny vs. cloudy days• Isen and Levin (1972) – IV: found a dime in coin return slot of telephone – DV: Help confederate pick up papers • no dime -> 4% helped • dime -> 84% helped
  19. 19. Who will help?• Why do good moods predict pro-social behavior? – Helping maintains good mood – Good moods make us see the good in people • positive thoughts -> positive behavior – Good moods increase self-awareness • More likely to act in accordance with our values
  20. 20. Who will help?• Mood – Bad moods can sometimes lead to prosocial behavior – Negative-state relief hypothesis: people help to alleviate their own bad mood• Exceptions: people who are very depressed or angry do not tend to help much
  21. 21. Mood• Guilt: Feelings of guilt tend to increase the likelihood of helping – Churchgoers are more likely to contribute to a charity before confession than afterward – “Breaking” a camera increases likelihood of helping a completely different person
  22. 22. Similarity• we are more likely to help those similar to us• We like those who are similar to us – Liking lecture and shared b-day study• Example: Students in England who identified them selves as fans of the Manchester United soccer football team were assigned to see another student fall and act as though they were in pain (Levine et al., 2005). – This student was wearing a Manchester United or rival Liverpool shirt – results: students were almost 4 times more likely to help the student in the United shirt
  23. 23. Situational Influences• Time pressure• Good Samaritan study – Princeton Theological Seminary students were told they were either early or late to give a talk – They all encountered a man slumped in a doorway who was coughing and groaning. – How many people stopped to see if the man needed help?
  24. 24. Good Samaritans• Results – Had time/early: 65% helped – Running late: 10% helped – Topic of talk had no effect on helping!
  25. 25. Situational Influences• Rural vs. urban environment• Example: staged injury – Small town: about 50% of the pedestrians offered to help – Large city: about 15% of pedestrians offered to help – Why the difference?
  26. 26. Situational Influences• Why do people help more in small towns? – Urban overload hypothesis = people living in cities are constantly bombarded with stimulation, so they keep to themselves to avoid being overwhelmed – immediate surroundings matter more than internalized values
  27. 27. Latane and Darley (1970)• Students in cubicles communicating over intercom (alone, 1, or 4 students)• one student has a seizure
  28. 28. Bystander Effect 100 Alone 1 other bystander 4 other bystanders 75 Percent 50who helped 25 0 60 seconds 150 seconds Number of seconds elapsed from start of seizure
  29. 29. Bystander Effect• the more bystanders who witness an emergency, the less likely one of them will help
  30. 30. Bystander InterventionStep 1:• What prevents Step 1? – Distraction: other people distract our attention – Manners: we don’t stare at others; we keep our eyes to ourselves
  31. 31. Step 1• Example: Smoke-filled room study – Participants filled out a questionnaire either alone or with two strangers – Staged emergency: smoke poured into the room through a wall vent – Who noticed the smoke more quickly? • Participants working alone noticed the smoke almost immediately • Participants working in small groups took longer
  32. 32. Bystander Intervention• Step 2: Interpreting the event as an emergency• What prevents Step 2? – ambiguity – pluralistic ignorance
  33. 33. Step 2Interpreting the event as an emergency – Pluralistic ignorance: The state in which people mistakenly believe that their own thoughts and feelings are different from those of others, even though everyone’s behavior is the same – specifically, bystanders assume nothing is wrong in an emergency becuse no one else looks concerned – Smoke-filled room study
  34. 34. Step 2• Example: Smoke-filled room study – Most people in groups continued to work on the questionnaire as they coughed and waved smoke away with their hands. – People glanced at others (saw that they were working diligently) – Participants’ interpretation of the smoke: • A leak in the air condition • Steam pipes • Chemistry labs in the building • Truth gas
  35. 35. Bystander Intervention• Step 3: Assuming responsibility• What prevents Step 3? – Diffusion of responsibility = each bystander’s sense of responsibility to help decreases as the number of bystanders increases • When people are alone, they feel responsible. • When people are not alone, everyone places the responsibility on everyone else.
  36. 36. Step 4: Decide how to help• Why do people not help? They do not want to appear foolish• prevents = lack of knowledge and competence
  37. 37. Step 4: Decide how to help• Cramer et al. (1988) – Emergency (seizure) – Participants were students or nurses – Participants alone or with others
  38. 38. Step 4: Decide how to help• Results – Alone or with others, 70-75% of nurses helped – 70% of students helped when alone; – 25% helped when with others
  39. 39. Bystander Intervention• Step 5: Deciding to implement the help• What prevents Step 5? – Costs of helping • legal problems • embarrassment (audience inhibition) • personal danger
  40. 40. Step 5: Must actually provide help• Audience inhibition – fear that others will evaluate them negatively if they intervene and the situation is not an emergency
  41. 41. How can helping be increased?• Increase the likelihood that bystanders will intervene – Reduce ambiguity – Increase responsibility – Increase self-awareness – give specific instructions – teach people about the bystander effect