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Pro-Social Behaviour
Applied Social Psychology By M.S. Ahluwalia
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Contents
1. What is Prosocial Behaviour?
2. Basic Motives Underlying Prosocial Behaviour
3. Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour
4. Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour
Pro-Social
Behaviour
Super-Notes
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Helping Behaviour: acts that intentionally
help others.
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Prosocial Behaviour: any act performed
with the goal of benefitting another person.
It includes actions that are cooperative,
affectionate and helpful to others.
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Altruism: a particular kind of helping
behaviour in which the actions performed
are motivated solely by the desire to benefit
the recipient and without any expectation of
personal gain (and often a cost) to oneself.
Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour
14
What
is
Prosocial
Behaviour
There are different determinants of prosocial behaviour:
All of these factors determine our decision to help.
Basic Motives
• Genetic factors
• Social expectations
• Empathy
Personal
Determinants
• Personality
• Gender
• Culture
• Mood
Situational
Determinants
• Environment
• Presence of others
c
Contents
1. What is Prosocial Behaviour?
2. Basic Motives Underlying Prosocial Behaviour
3. Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour
4. Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour
Pro-Social
Behaviour
Super-Notes
15
Three Basic Motives Underlying Pro-Social Behaviour
16
Basic
Motives
Underlying
Pro-Social
Behaviour
1
Evolutionary
Psychology
• Helping is an
instinctive reaction
to promote the
welfare of those
genetically similar to
us.
2
Social Exchange
Theory
• Rewards of helping
often outweigh the
costs, making it in
people’s self-interest
to help.
3
Empathy-Altruism
Hypothesis
• Under some
conditions, powerful
feelings of empathy
and compassion for
the victim prompt
selfless giving.
Next
Evolutionary Psychology and Prosocial Behaviour
17
Basic
Motives
Underlying
Pro-Social
Behaviour
>>
Evolutionary
Perspective
• Evolutionary psychology attempts to explain social behaviour in terms of genetic
factors that evolved over time according to the principles of natural selection.
According to this approach, prosocial behaviour has genetic roots.
• Evolutionary psychologists believe that people help others because of three
factors that have become ingrained in our genes:
1
Kin Selection
2
Norm of Reciprocity
3
Ability to learn and
follow social norms
1. Kin Selection
18
Basic
Motives
Underlying
Pro-Social
Behaviour
>>
Evolutionary
Perspective
• People can increase the chances that their genes will be passed along not only by having
their own children, but also by ensuring that their genetic relatives have children.
• Because a person’s blood relatives share some of his or her genes, the more that person
ensures their survival, the greater the chance that his or her genes will flourish in
future generations.
• Thus, natural selection should favour altruistic acts directed toward genetic
relatives. In a study, people reported that they would be more likely to help genetic
relatives than non-relatives in life-and-death situations, such as a house fire.
Kin Selection
the idea that behaviours that help a genetic relative are favoured by natural
selection (Hamilton, 1964; Meyer, 1999).
2. The Reciprocity Norm
19
Basic
Motives
Underlying
Pro-Social
Behaviour
>>
Evolutionary
Perspective
• The idea is that as human beings were evolving, a group of completely selfish
individuals, each living in his or her own cave, would have found it more difficult
to survive than a group who had learned to cooperate.
• Those who were most likely to survive, were people who developed an
understanding with their neighbours about reciprocity: “I will help you now,
with the agreement that when I need help, you will return the favour”.
• Because of its survival value, such a norm of reciprocity may have its roots in
genetics.
Reciprocity
Norm
the expectation that helping others will increase the likelihood that they will
help us in the future.
3. Learning Social Norms
20
Basic
Motives
Underlying
Pro-Social
Behaviour
>>
Evolutionary
Perspective
• A third way in which evolutionary theory can explain altruism has been offered by Nobel
laureate Herbert Simon (1990). He argued that it is highly adaptive for individuals to
learn social norms from other members of a society.
• People who are the best learners of the norms and customs of a society have a survival
advantage, because over the centuries, a culture learns such things as which foods are
poisonous and how best to cooperate, and the person who learns these rules is more likely
to survive than the person who does not. Consequently, through natural selection, the
ability to learn social norms has become part of our genes.
• One norm that people learn is the value of helping others; this is considered a valuable
norm in virtually all societies.
• In short, people are genetically programmed to learn social norms, and one of these
norms is altruism (Hoffman, 1981).
Three Basic Motives Underlying Pro-Social Behaviour
21
Basic
Motives
Underlying
Pro-Social
Behaviour
1
Evolutionary
Psychology
• Helping is an
instinctive reaction
to promote the
welfare of those
genetically similar to
us.
2
Social Exchange
Theory
• Rewards of helping
often outweigh the
costs, making it in
people’s self-interest
to help.
3
Empathy-Altruism
Hypothesis
• Under some
conditions, powerful
feelings of empathy
and compassion for
the victim prompt
selfless giving.
Next
Social Exchange Theory
22
Basic
Motives
Underlying
Pro-Social
Behaviour
>>
Social
Exchange
Theory
Though some social psychologists disagree with evolutionary approaches to prosocial behaviour,
they share the view that altruistic behaviour can be based on self-interest.
• Social exchange theory argues that much of what we do stems from the desire to maximize our
rewards and minimize our costs.
• Helping can be rewarding in a number of ways. As we saw with the norm of reciprocity, it can
increase the likelihood that someone will help us in return. Helping someone is an investment in
the future, the social exchange being that someday, someone will help you when you need it.
• The other side of the coin, of course, is that helping can be costly. Helping decreases when the
costs are high, as when it would put us in physical danger, result in pain or embarrassment, or
simply take too much time.
• The basic assumption of social exchange theory is that people help only when the benefits
outweigh the costs.
Three Basic Motives Underlying Pro-Social Behaviour
23
Basic
Motives
Underlying
Pro-Social
Behaviour
1
Evolutionary
Psychology
• Helping is an
instinctive reaction
to promote the
welfare of those
genetically similar to
us.
2
Social Exchange
Theory
• Rewards of helping
often outweigh the
costs, making it in
people’s self-interest
to help.
3
Empathy-Altruism
Hypothesis
• Under some
conditions, powerful
feelings of empathy
and compassion for
the victim prompt
selfless giving.
Next
Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis (1/2)
24
Basic
Motives
Underlying
Pro-Social
Behaviour
>>
Empathy-Altruism
Hypothe…
Example: diving into the river to save someone, putting yourself in grave danger.
Altruism depends upon empathy.
Empathy-
Altruism
Hypothesis
when we feel empathy for another person, we will attempt to help the person
for purely altruistic reasons, regardless of what we have to gain.
Empathy
the ability to share the emotions of another person and to understand that
person’s point of view.
Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis (2/2)
25
Basic
Motives
Underlying
Pro-Social
Behaviour
>>
Empathy-Altruism
Hypothe…
• C. Daniel Batson (1991) is the strongest proponent of the idea that people often help purely
out of the goodness of their hearts.
• He acknowledges that people sometimes help others for selfish reasons, such as to
relieve their own distress at seeing another person suffer.
• But he also argues that people’s motives are sometimes purely altruistic - their only
goal is to help the other person, even if doing so involves some cost to themselves.
• Batson also proposed Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis: Pure altruism is likely to come into
play, when we feel empathy for the person in need of help - putting ourselves in the
shoes of another person and experiencing events and emotions the way that person
experiences them.
c
Contents
1. What is Prosocial Behaviour?
2. Basic Motives Underlying Prosocial Behaviour
3. Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour
4. Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour
Pro-Social
Behaviour
Super-Notes
26
Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour
27
Personal
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
• People’s basic motives are not the sole determinants of whether they help, for
many personal and situational factors can suppress or trigger these motives.
• The personal determinants of prosocial behaviour that distinguish the helpful
person from the selfish one may include:
1
Personality
2
Gender
3
Culture
4
Mood
Next
Altruistic Personality
28
Personal
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
>>
Personality
• Psychologists have been interested in the nature of the altruistic personality.
• However, personality is not the sole determinant of how people behave.
• According to social psychologists, to understand human behaviour, such as how
helpful people will behave in a given situation, we need to consider the
situational pressures impinging on them as well as their personalities.
Altruistic
Personality
the aspects of a person’s makeup that cause the person to help others in a wide
variety of situations.
Characteristics of Altruistic People
29
Personal
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
>>
Personality
An altruistic person is high on five dimensions characteristic of people who engage in prosocial behaviour in an
emergency and other contexts:
1
Empathy
• Most altruistic persons
are high in empathy.
• They describe
themselves as
responsible,
socialized,
conforming,
tolerant, self-
controlled and
motivated to make a
good impression.
2
Belief in a just world
• They perceive the
world to be a fair and
predictable place in
which good
behaviour is
rewarded and bad
behaviour punished.
• This belief leads:
• to the conclusion that
helping those in
need is the right
thing to do
• to the expectation
that the person who
helps will actually
benefit from doing a
good deed.
3
Social Responsibility
• Most helpful
individuals also
express the belief that
each person is
responsible for doing
his or her best to
assist anyone who
needs help.
4
Internal Locus of
Control
• They believe that a
person can choose to
behave in ways that
maximize good
outcomes and
minimize bad ones.
• People who fail to help,
in contrast, tend to
have an external locus
of control - believe that
their behaviour is
irrelevant because
outcomes are
controlled by luck,
fate, and other
uncontrollable factors.
5
Low Egocentrism
• Altruistic people do
not tend to be self-
absorbed and
competitive.
Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour
30
Personal
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
• People’s basic motives are not the sole determinants of whether they help, for
many personal and situational factors can suppress or trigger these motives.
• The personal determinants of prosocial behaviour that distinguish the helpful
person from the selfish one may include:
1
Personality
2
Gender
3
Culture
4
Mood
Next
Gender Differences in Prosocial Behaviour
31
Personal
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
>>
Gender
• All cultures have different norms for males and females, so that men and
women learn to value different traits and behaviours.
• In Western cultures, part of the male sex role is to be chivalrous and heroic,
whereas part of the female sex role is to be nurturant and caring, valuing close,
long-term relationships.
• As a result, we might expect:
• men to help more in situations that call for brief chivalrous and heroic acts
• women to help more in long-term relationships that involve less danger but more
commitment, such as volunteering at a nursing home.
Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour
32
Personal
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
• People’s basic motives are not the sole determinants of whether they help, for
many personal and situational factors can suppress or trigger these motives.
• The personal determinants of prosocial behaviour that distinguish the helpful
person from the selfish one may include:
1
Personality
2
Gender
3
Culture
4
Mood
Next
Cultural Differences in Prosocial Behaviour
33
Personal
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
>>
Culture
Looking at helping behaviour from a cultural perspective highlights the need to recognise both:
• how the meaning of help is dependent upon the cultural context
• to see helping behaviour as part of the wider moral system that links individuals in social
relationships.
Culture establishes the implicit and explicit rules that guide both those who seek help and those
who receive it:
• Western cultures: people tend to be individualistic and have an independent view of the self,
• Many non-Western cultures: tend to be collectivist and have an interdependent view of the self.
• Because people with an interdependent view of the self are more likely to define themselves in
terms of their social relationships and have more of a sense of “connectedness” to others, it might
seem that they would be more likely to help a person in need.
In-Group Effect
34
Personal
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
>>
Culture
In all cultures, people are more likely to help someone they define as a member of their in-
group, the group with which an individual identifies. People everywhere are less likely to help
someone they perceive to be a member of an out-group, a group with which the individual does not
identify (Brewer & Brown, 1998).
• Cultural factors come into play in determining how strongly people draw the line between in-
groups and out-groups.
• In many interdependent cultures, greater importance is attached to the needs of the in-group.
• Consequently, members of these cultures are more likely to help in-group members than
members of individualistic cultures are. However, because the line between “us” and “them” is
more firmly drawn in interdependent cultures, people in these cultures are less likely to help
members of out-groups than people in individualistic cultures are.
• Thus, to be helped by other people, it is important that they view you as a member of their in-group
- as “one of them”; and this is especially true in interdependent cultures (Ting & Piliavin, 2000).
Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour
35
Personal
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
• People’s basic motives are not the sole determinants of whether they help, for
many personal and situational factors can suppress or trigger these motives.
• The personal determinants of prosocial behaviour that distinguish the helpful
person from the selfish one may include:
1
Personality
2
Gender
3
Culture
4
Mood
Next
Effects of Mood on Prosocial Behaviour
36
Personal
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
>>
Mood
• Personality alone is an insufficient predictor of people’s helping behaviour.
• One reason for this is that helping depends on a person’s current mood.
Sometimes we feel up and sometimes we feel down, and these transitory emotional
states are another key determinant of prosocial behaviour.
• Both positive and negative moods can lead to prosocial behaviour:
• Positive Mood: person feels good, so does good.
• Negative State Relief: person does good, so that s/he can feel good.
Effects of Positive Moods: Feel Good, Do Good
37
Personal
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
>>
Mood
Researchers have found the “feel good, do good” effect in diverse situations and have
shown that it is not limited to the little boost we get when we find some money.
• People are more likely to help others when they are in a good mood for a number of
reasons, including doing well on a test, receiving a gift, thinking happy thoughts, and
listening to pleasant music.
• And when people are in a good mood, they are more helpful in many ways, including:
• contributing money to charity,
• helping someone find a lost contact lens,
• tutoring another student,
• donating blood, and
• helping co-workers on the job.
Why do good, when feel good?
38
Personal
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
>>
Mood
What is it about being in a good mood that makes people more altruistic? Good moods can
increase helping for three reasons:
1. Good moods make us look at the bright side of life.
2. “Feel good, do good” occurs because it is an excellent way of prolonging good mood.
3. Good moods increase self-attention.
• At any given time, people vary in how much attention they pay to their feelings and values versus the
world around them. Sometimes we are particularly attuned to our internal worlds, and sometimes we
are not.
• Good moods increase 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.
• Because most of us value altruism and because good moods increase our attention to this value, good
moods increase helping behaviour.
Negative State Relief Hypothesis
39
Personal
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
>>
Mood
• People often act on the idea that good deeds cancel out bad deeds.
• When they have done something that has made them feel guilty, helping
another person balances things out, reducing their guilty feelings.
• People help someone else with the goal of helping themselves – namely, to
relieve their own sadness and distress.
• This is pretty obvious if we help in a way that deals with the cause of our sadness.
• If our best friend is depressed, we might feel a little depressed as well.
Negative State
Relief
Hypothesis
the idea that people help in order to alleviate their own sadness and distress.
(Cialdini, Darby, & Vincent, 1973; Cialdini & Fultz, 1990; Cialdini et al., 1987).
c
Contents
1. What is Prosocial Behaviour?
2. Basic Motives Underlying Prosocial Behaviour
3. Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour
4. Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour
Pro-Social
Behaviour
Super-Notes
40
Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour
41
Situational
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
Situational
Determinants
Environment –
Rural vs. Urban
Bystander
Intervention
Situational
Determinants
Situational determinants of prosocial behaviour refer to social situations in
which people behave in a pro-social manner.
Next
42
Situational
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
>>
Environment
• Several researchers compared the likelihood of people helping in rural versus
urban areas. They found people in rural areas help more (Korte, 1980; Steblay,
1987).
• People in small towns have been found to be more helpful in many respects
including:
• helping a stranger who has had an accident,
• helping a lost child,
• giving directions, and
• returning a lost letter.
Environment: Rural Versus Urban
43
Situational
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
>>
Environment
Why are our chances of being helped greater in small towns? Couple of possibilities:
1. The experience of growing up in a small town enhances altruistic personality, whereas
growing up in a big city diminishes altruistic personality.
• You would be more likely to be helped by someone who grew up in a small town, even if that person
were visiting a big city.
• The key is the values the small-town resident has internalized, not the immediate surroundings.
2. People’s immediate surroundings might be the key and not their personalities.
• Stanley Milgram (1970) proposed the urban overload hypothesis: people living in cities are
constantly being bombarded with stimulation. They keep to themselves in order to avoid being
overloaded by it.
• Accordingly, if you put urban dwellers in a calmer, less stimulating environment, they would be
as likely as anyone else to reach out to others.
Why do people in rural areas help more?
Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour
44
Situational
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
Situational
Determinants
Environment –
Rural vs. Urban
Bystander
Intervention
Next
Situational
Determinants
Situational determinants of prosocial behaviour refer to social situations in
which people behave in a pro-social manner.
45
Situational
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
>>
Bystander
Intervention
Bystander Intervention
Research by Darley and Latane
(1968) suggests that bystanders
intervene only if:
1. They notice an incident
2. Interpret it as an emergency
3. Assume responsibility for
taking action
4. Know the appropriate action
to take, and
5. Decide to take action
At each stage, the presence of other people can
deter an individual from making a decision that
will lead to them helping.
• People in groups are less likely than a solitary
individual to notice an unusual situation or to
define it as an emergency.
• Moreover, when people believe that others are
aware of someone’s distress - as was the case in
the Kitty Genovese murder, responsibility is
distributed or diffused across the group and
any single individual is less likely to help than
when they believe they bear sole responsibility
for taking action.
46
Situational
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
>>
Bystander
Intervention
Bystander Effect
Bystander
Effect
any particular bystander is less likely to give help with other bystanders
present.
Bystander effect has been shown to emerge in a range of situations, including:
• making an emergency phone call
• picking up dropped money or other items
• aiding a stranded motorist
• helping someone having an epileptic seizure
• donating blood
• contributing money or time.
47
Situational
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
>>
Bystander
Intervention
Bystander Effect – The Underlying Processes
The effect appears to involve two separate processes:
• Its occurrence highlights the social and shared nature of much of our behaviour - we rely
on the actions of others to decide what is appropriate behaviour in a particular setting.
• When people believe responsibility to act is shared with others (i.e. diffused), then they
feel less personal responsibility to act.
Pluralistic
Ignorance
the phenomenon whereby bystanders assume that nothing is wrong in an
emergency because no one else looks concerned.
Diffusion of
Responsibility
decrease in the degree of responsibility felt by each person in association with
the number of people present.
48
Situational
Determinants
of
Prosocial
Behaviour
>>
Bystander
Intervention
How people decide whether to intervene
Latané and Darley (1970) developed a step-by-step description of how people decide whether to
intervene in an emergency. They go through five decision-making steps before they help
someone in an emergency.
Image
Source:
https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Stages-of-bystander-intervention-Source-
Adapted-from-Latane-and-Darley-as-cited-in_fig2_283329486
If bystanders fail to take any one of the five steps,
they will not help.
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  • 10. c Contents 1. What is Prosocial Behaviour? 2. Basic Motives Underlying Prosocial Behaviour 3. Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour 4. Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour Pro-Social Behaviour Super-Notes 10
  • 11. Super-Notes Super-Notes PsychoTech Services PsychoTech Services Psychology Learners Psychology Learners FREE IGNOU Help Center FREE IGNOU Help Center The Real Happiness Center The Real Happiness Center Helping Behaviour: acts that intentionally help others.
  • 12. Super-Notes Super-Notes PsychoTech Services PsychoTech Services Psychology Learners Psychology Learners FREE IGNOU Help Center FREE IGNOU Help Center The Real Happiness Center The Real Happiness Center Prosocial Behaviour: any act performed with the goal of benefitting another person. It includes actions that are cooperative, affectionate and helpful to others.
  • 13. Super-Notes Super-Notes PsychoTech Services PsychoTech Services Psychology Learners Psychology Learners FREE IGNOU Help Center FREE IGNOU Help Center The Real Happiness Center The Real Happiness Center Altruism: a particular kind of helping behaviour in which the actions performed are motivated solely by the desire to benefit the recipient and without any expectation of personal gain (and often a cost) to oneself.
  • 14. Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour 14 What is Prosocial Behaviour There are different determinants of prosocial behaviour: All of these factors determine our decision to help. Basic Motives • Genetic factors • Social expectations • Empathy Personal Determinants • Personality • Gender • Culture • Mood Situational Determinants • Environment • Presence of others
  • 15. c Contents 1. What is Prosocial Behaviour? 2. Basic Motives Underlying Prosocial Behaviour 3. Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour 4. Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour Pro-Social Behaviour Super-Notes 15
  • 16. Three Basic Motives Underlying Pro-Social Behaviour 16 Basic Motives Underlying Pro-Social Behaviour 1 Evolutionary Psychology • Helping is an instinctive reaction to promote the welfare of those genetically similar to us. 2 Social Exchange Theory • Rewards of helping often outweigh the costs, making it in people’s self-interest to help. 3 Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis • Under some conditions, powerful feelings of empathy and compassion for the victim prompt selfless giving. Next
  • 17. Evolutionary Psychology and Prosocial Behaviour 17 Basic Motives Underlying Pro-Social Behaviour >> Evolutionary Perspective • Evolutionary psychology attempts to explain social behaviour in terms of genetic factors that evolved over time according to the principles of natural selection. According to this approach, prosocial behaviour has genetic roots. • Evolutionary psychologists believe that people help others because of three factors that have become ingrained in our genes: 1 Kin Selection 2 Norm of Reciprocity 3 Ability to learn and follow social norms
  • 18. 1. Kin Selection 18 Basic Motives Underlying Pro-Social Behaviour >> Evolutionary Perspective • People can increase the chances that their genes will be passed along not only by having their own children, but also by ensuring that their genetic relatives have children. • Because a person’s blood relatives share some of his or her genes, the more that person ensures their survival, the greater the chance that his or her genes will flourish in future generations. • Thus, natural selection should favour altruistic acts directed toward genetic relatives. In a study, people reported that they would be more likely to help genetic relatives than non-relatives in life-and-death situations, such as a house fire. Kin Selection the idea that behaviours that help a genetic relative are favoured by natural selection (Hamilton, 1964; Meyer, 1999).
  • 19. 2. The Reciprocity Norm 19 Basic Motives Underlying Pro-Social Behaviour >> Evolutionary Perspective • The idea is that as human beings were evolving, a group of completely selfish individuals, each living in his or her own cave, would have found it more difficult to survive than a group who had learned to cooperate. • Those who were most likely to survive, were people who developed an understanding with their neighbours about reciprocity: “I will help you now, with the agreement that when I need help, you will return the favour”. • Because of its survival value, such a norm of reciprocity may have its roots in genetics. Reciprocity Norm the expectation that helping others will increase the likelihood that they will help us in the future.
  • 20. 3. Learning Social Norms 20 Basic Motives Underlying Pro-Social Behaviour >> Evolutionary Perspective • A third way in which evolutionary theory can explain altruism has been offered by Nobel laureate Herbert Simon (1990). He argued that it is highly adaptive for individuals to learn social norms from other members of a society. • People who are the best learners of the norms and customs of a society have a survival advantage, because over the centuries, a culture learns such things as which foods are poisonous and how best to cooperate, and the person who learns these rules is more likely to survive than the person who does not. Consequently, through natural selection, the ability to learn social norms has become part of our genes. • One norm that people learn is the value of helping others; this is considered a valuable norm in virtually all societies. • In short, people are genetically programmed to learn social norms, and one of these norms is altruism (Hoffman, 1981).
  • 21. Three Basic Motives Underlying Pro-Social Behaviour 21 Basic Motives Underlying Pro-Social Behaviour 1 Evolutionary Psychology • Helping is an instinctive reaction to promote the welfare of those genetically similar to us. 2 Social Exchange Theory • Rewards of helping often outweigh the costs, making it in people’s self-interest to help. 3 Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis • Under some conditions, powerful feelings of empathy and compassion for the victim prompt selfless giving. Next
  • 22. Social Exchange Theory 22 Basic Motives Underlying Pro-Social Behaviour >> Social Exchange Theory Though some social psychologists disagree with evolutionary approaches to prosocial behaviour, they share the view that altruistic behaviour can be based on self-interest. • Social exchange theory argues that much of what we do stems from the desire to maximize our rewards and minimize our costs. • Helping can be rewarding in a number of ways. As we saw with the norm of reciprocity, it can increase the likelihood that someone will help us in return. Helping someone is an investment in the future, the social exchange being that someday, someone will help you when you need it. • The other side of the coin, of course, is that helping can be costly. Helping decreases when the costs are high, as when it would put us in physical danger, result in pain or embarrassment, or simply take too much time. • The basic assumption of social exchange theory is that people help only when the benefits outweigh the costs.
  • 23. Three Basic Motives Underlying Pro-Social Behaviour 23 Basic Motives Underlying Pro-Social Behaviour 1 Evolutionary Psychology • Helping is an instinctive reaction to promote the welfare of those genetically similar to us. 2 Social Exchange Theory • Rewards of helping often outweigh the costs, making it in people’s self-interest to help. 3 Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis • Under some conditions, powerful feelings of empathy and compassion for the victim prompt selfless giving. Next
  • 24. Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis (1/2) 24 Basic Motives Underlying Pro-Social Behaviour >> Empathy-Altruism Hypothe… Example: diving into the river to save someone, putting yourself in grave danger. Altruism depends upon empathy. Empathy- Altruism Hypothesis when we feel empathy for another person, we will attempt to help the person for purely altruistic reasons, regardless of what we have to gain. Empathy the ability to share the emotions of another person and to understand that person’s point of view.
  • 25. Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis (2/2) 25 Basic Motives Underlying Pro-Social Behaviour >> Empathy-Altruism Hypothe… • C. Daniel Batson (1991) is the strongest proponent of the idea that people often help purely out of the goodness of their hearts. • He acknowledges that people sometimes help others for selfish reasons, such as to relieve their own distress at seeing another person suffer. • But he also argues that people’s motives are sometimes purely altruistic - their only goal is to help the other person, even if doing so involves some cost to themselves. • Batson also proposed Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis: Pure altruism is likely to come into play, when we feel empathy for the person in need of help - putting ourselves in the shoes of another person and experiencing events and emotions the way that person experiences them.
  • 26. c Contents 1. What is Prosocial Behaviour? 2. Basic Motives Underlying Prosocial Behaviour 3. Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour 4. Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour Pro-Social Behaviour Super-Notes 26
  • 27. Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour 27 Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour • People’s basic motives are not the sole determinants of whether they help, for many personal and situational factors can suppress or trigger these motives. • The personal determinants of prosocial behaviour that distinguish the helpful person from the selfish one may include: 1 Personality 2 Gender 3 Culture 4 Mood Next
  • 28. Altruistic Personality 28 Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour >> Personality • Psychologists have been interested in the nature of the altruistic personality. • However, personality is not the sole determinant of how people behave. • According to social psychologists, to understand human behaviour, such as how helpful people will behave in a given situation, we need to consider the situational pressures impinging on them as well as their personalities. Altruistic Personality the aspects of a person’s makeup that cause the person to help others in a wide variety of situations.
  • 29. Characteristics of Altruistic People 29 Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour >> Personality An altruistic person is high on five dimensions characteristic of people who engage in prosocial behaviour in an emergency and other contexts: 1 Empathy • Most altruistic persons are high in empathy. • They describe themselves as responsible, socialized, conforming, tolerant, self- controlled and motivated to make a good impression. 2 Belief in a just world • They perceive the world to be a fair and predictable place in which good behaviour is rewarded and bad behaviour punished. • This belief leads: • to the conclusion that helping those in need is the right thing to do • to the expectation that the person who helps will actually benefit from doing a good deed. 3 Social Responsibility • Most helpful individuals also express the belief that each person is responsible for doing his or her best to assist anyone who needs help. 4 Internal Locus of Control • They believe that a person can choose to behave in ways that maximize good outcomes and minimize bad ones. • People who fail to help, in contrast, tend to have an external locus of control - believe that their behaviour is irrelevant because outcomes are controlled by luck, fate, and other uncontrollable factors. 5 Low Egocentrism • Altruistic people do not tend to be self- absorbed and competitive.
  • 30. Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour 30 Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour • People’s basic motives are not the sole determinants of whether they help, for many personal and situational factors can suppress or trigger these motives. • The personal determinants of prosocial behaviour that distinguish the helpful person from the selfish one may include: 1 Personality 2 Gender 3 Culture 4 Mood Next
  • 31. Gender Differences in Prosocial Behaviour 31 Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour >> Gender • All cultures have different norms for males and females, so that men and women learn to value different traits and behaviours. • In Western cultures, part of the male sex role is to be chivalrous and heroic, whereas part of the female sex role is to be nurturant and caring, valuing close, long-term relationships. • As a result, we might expect: • men to help more in situations that call for brief chivalrous and heroic acts • women to help more in long-term relationships that involve less danger but more commitment, such as volunteering at a nursing home.
  • 32. Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour 32 Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour • People’s basic motives are not the sole determinants of whether they help, for many personal and situational factors can suppress or trigger these motives. • The personal determinants of prosocial behaviour that distinguish the helpful person from the selfish one may include: 1 Personality 2 Gender 3 Culture 4 Mood Next
  • 33. Cultural Differences in Prosocial Behaviour 33 Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour >> Culture Looking at helping behaviour from a cultural perspective highlights the need to recognise both: • how the meaning of help is dependent upon the cultural context • to see helping behaviour as part of the wider moral system that links individuals in social relationships. Culture establishes the implicit and explicit rules that guide both those who seek help and those who receive it: • Western cultures: people tend to be individualistic and have an independent view of the self, • Many non-Western cultures: tend to be collectivist and have an interdependent view of the self. • Because people with an interdependent view of the self are more likely to define themselves in terms of their social relationships and have more of a sense of “connectedness” to others, it might seem that they would be more likely to help a person in need.
  • 34. In-Group Effect 34 Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour >> Culture In all cultures, people are more likely to help someone they define as a member of their in- group, the group with which an individual identifies. People everywhere are less likely to help someone they perceive to be a member of an out-group, a group with which the individual does not identify (Brewer & Brown, 1998). • Cultural factors come into play in determining how strongly people draw the line between in- groups and out-groups. • In many interdependent cultures, greater importance is attached to the needs of the in-group. • Consequently, members of these cultures are more likely to help in-group members than members of individualistic cultures are. However, because the line between “us” and “them” is more firmly drawn in interdependent cultures, people in these cultures are less likely to help members of out-groups than people in individualistic cultures are. • Thus, to be helped by other people, it is important that they view you as a member of their in-group - as “one of them”; and this is especially true in interdependent cultures (Ting & Piliavin, 2000).
  • 35. Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour 35 Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour • People’s basic motives are not the sole determinants of whether they help, for many personal and situational factors can suppress or trigger these motives. • The personal determinants of prosocial behaviour that distinguish the helpful person from the selfish one may include: 1 Personality 2 Gender 3 Culture 4 Mood Next
  • 36. Effects of Mood on Prosocial Behaviour 36 Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour >> Mood • Personality alone is an insufficient predictor of people’s helping behaviour. • One reason for this is that helping depends on a person’s current mood. Sometimes we feel up and sometimes we feel down, and these transitory emotional states are another key determinant of prosocial behaviour. • Both positive and negative moods can lead to prosocial behaviour: • Positive Mood: person feels good, so does good. • Negative State Relief: person does good, so that s/he can feel good.
  • 37. Effects of Positive Moods: Feel Good, Do Good 37 Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour >> Mood Researchers have found the “feel good, do good” effect in diverse situations and have shown that it is not limited to the little boost we get when we find some money. • People are more likely to help others when they are in a good mood for a number of reasons, including doing well on a test, receiving a gift, thinking happy thoughts, and listening to pleasant music. • And when people are in a good mood, they are more helpful in many ways, including: • contributing money to charity, • helping someone find a lost contact lens, • tutoring another student, • donating blood, and • helping co-workers on the job.
  • 38. Why do good, when feel good? 38 Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour >> Mood What is it about being in a good mood that makes people more altruistic? Good moods can increase helping for three reasons: 1. Good moods make us look at the bright side of life. 2. “Feel good, do good” occurs because it is an excellent way of prolonging good mood. 3. Good moods increase self-attention. • At any given time, people vary in how much attention they pay to their feelings and values versus the world around them. Sometimes we are particularly attuned to our internal worlds, and sometimes we are not. • Good moods increase 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. • Because most of us value altruism and because good moods increase our attention to this value, good moods increase helping behaviour.
  • 39. Negative State Relief Hypothesis 39 Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour >> Mood • People often act on the idea that good deeds cancel out bad deeds. • When they have done something that has made them feel guilty, helping another person balances things out, reducing their guilty feelings. • People help someone else with the goal of helping themselves – namely, to relieve their own sadness and distress. • This is pretty obvious if we help in a way that deals with the cause of our sadness. • If our best friend is depressed, we might feel a little depressed as well. Negative State Relief Hypothesis the idea that people help in order to alleviate their own sadness and distress. (Cialdini, Darby, & Vincent, 1973; Cialdini & Fultz, 1990; Cialdini et al., 1987).
  • 40. c Contents 1. What is Prosocial Behaviour? 2. Basic Motives Underlying Prosocial Behaviour 3. Personal Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour 4. Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour Pro-Social Behaviour Super-Notes 40
  • 41. Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour 41 Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour Situational Determinants Environment – Rural vs. Urban Bystander Intervention Situational Determinants Situational determinants of prosocial behaviour refer to social situations in which people behave in a pro-social manner. Next
  • 42. 42 Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour >> Environment • Several researchers compared the likelihood of people helping in rural versus urban areas. They found people in rural areas help more (Korte, 1980; Steblay, 1987). • People in small towns have been found to be more helpful in many respects including: • helping a stranger who has had an accident, • helping a lost child, • giving directions, and • returning a lost letter. Environment: Rural Versus Urban
  • 43. 43 Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour >> Environment Why are our chances of being helped greater in small towns? Couple of possibilities: 1. The experience of growing up in a small town enhances altruistic personality, whereas growing up in a big city diminishes altruistic personality. • You would be more likely to be helped by someone who grew up in a small town, even if that person were visiting a big city. • The key is the values the small-town resident has internalized, not the immediate surroundings. 2. People’s immediate surroundings might be the key and not their personalities. • Stanley Milgram (1970) proposed the urban overload hypothesis: people living in cities are constantly being bombarded with stimulation. They keep to themselves in order to avoid being overloaded by it. • Accordingly, if you put urban dwellers in a calmer, less stimulating environment, they would be as likely as anyone else to reach out to others. Why do people in rural areas help more?
  • 44. Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour 44 Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour Situational Determinants Environment – Rural vs. Urban Bystander Intervention Next Situational Determinants Situational determinants of prosocial behaviour refer to social situations in which people behave in a pro-social manner.
  • 45. 45 Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour >> Bystander Intervention Bystander Intervention Research by Darley and Latane (1968) suggests that bystanders intervene only if: 1. They notice an incident 2. Interpret it as an emergency 3. Assume responsibility for taking action 4. Know the appropriate action to take, and 5. Decide to take action At each stage, the presence of other people can deter an individual from making a decision that will lead to them helping. • People in groups are less likely than a solitary individual to notice an unusual situation or to define it as an emergency. • Moreover, when people believe that others are aware of someone’s distress - as was the case in the Kitty Genovese murder, responsibility is distributed or diffused across the group and any single individual is less likely to help than when they believe they bear sole responsibility for taking action.
  • 46. 46 Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour >> Bystander Intervention Bystander Effect Bystander Effect any particular bystander is less likely to give help with other bystanders present. Bystander effect has been shown to emerge in a range of situations, including: • making an emergency phone call • picking up dropped money or other items • aiding a stranded motorist • helping someone having an epileptic seizure • donating blood • contributing money or time.
  • 47. 47 Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour >> Bystander Intervention Bystander Effect – The Underlying Processes The effect appears to involve two separate processes: • Its occurrence highlights the social and shared nature of much of our behaviour - we rely on the actions of others to decide what is appropriate behaviour in a particular setting. • When people believe responsibility to act is shared with others (i.e. diffused), then they feel less personal responsibility to act. Pluralistic Ignorance the phenomenon whereby bystanders assume that nothing is wrong in an emergency because no one else looks concerned. Diffusion of Responsibility decrease in the degree of responsibility felt by each person in association with the number of people present.
  • 48. 48 Situational Determinants of Prosocial Behaviour >> Bystander Intervention How people decide whether to intervene Latané and Darley (1970) developed a step-by-step description of how people decide whether to intervene in an emergency. They go through five decision-making steps before they help someone in an emergency. Image Source: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Stages-of-bystander-intervention-Source- Adapted-from-Latane-and-Darley-as-cited-in_fig2_283329486 If bystanders fail to take any one of the five steps, they will not help.
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