Define Prosocial behaviour and altruism
- Prosocial behaviour: Any act performed with the goal of benefiting another person
- Altruism: the desire to help another person with no benefit to oneself even if it involves a cost to the helper.
Evolutionary psychology basis for prosocial behaviour
- Kin selection: The idea that behaviours that help a genetic relative are favoured by natural selection.
- Norm of reciprocity: The expectation that helping others will increase the likelihood that they will help us in the future.
- Group selection: groups that valued altruism and helped each other more likely to survive.
Costs and rewards of helping
- Can increase the likelihood that someone will help in return (norm of reciprocity)
- Helping can relieve the personal distress of a bystander. Evidence indicates people are disturbed when they see another person suffering and they help in part to relieve their own distress.
- Helping others can also gain social approval and increased feelings of self worth.
Empathy and empathy-altruism hypothesis
- Empathy: The ability to put oneself in the shoes of another person to experiences events and emotions the way that person experiences them
- Empathy-altruism hypothesis: C Daniel Batson. the idea that when we well empathy for a person, we will attempt to help that person for purely altruistic reasons, regardless of what we have to gain.
- If you do not feel empathy, social exchange comes into play.
- Carol Marcy psych notes experiment.
What influences whether a given individual will help?
- Personality: altruistic, high empathetic concern
- Gender: males- more heroic or chivalrous helping. Female- more nurturing and caring helping
- Culture: help ingroup more because feel more empathy. Help outgroup because makes us feel good or make good impression. Some suggestion that some countries value friendliness and prosocial behaviour more (Simpatia)
- Religion: more helpful towards people form the same group
- Mood: feel good, do good. Being in a bad mood or feeling guilty also increases likelihood.
In what situation are people more or less likely to help others?
- Environment: people help more rural vs urban areas.
- Urban overload hypothesis: people in big cities are overstimulated and therefore like to keep to themselves.
- Residential mobility: long time residents re more prosocial. People who are longer in the same group help each other more.
- Prosocial video games and music: more likely to help after
- The number of bystanders: By stander effect: the finding that the greater the number of bystanders who witness an emergency, the less likely any of them is to help.
How do people decide to help?
- Bystander effect: the finding that the greater the number of bystanders who witness an emergency, the less likely any one of them is to help.
- Noticing an event: people in a hurry less likely to notice and help.
- Interpreting the event as an emergency: Less likely to interpret as emergency with greater number of people (informational social influence.
- Leads to plurastic ignorance- the case in which people think that everyone else is interpreting a situation in a certain way, when in fact they are not.
- Assuming responsibility: when there are many witnesses, there is a diffusion of responsibility- the phenomenon wherein each bystander's sense of responsibility to help decreases as the number of witnesses increases.
- Knowing how to help: If people don't know what form of assistance to give, they are unable to help.
- Deciding to implement help: Weigh costs of trying to help.
How to promote prosocial behaviour
- Increase prosocial personality characteristics.
- If people hear about the bystander effect they are more likely to help.
- Remind ourselves to overcome our inhibitions and do the right thing.
- External presser to volunteer can decrease intrinsic motivation.
- Positive psychology looks at changing a person's personality and virtues to increase prosocial whereas social psychology looks at the conditions.
A hostile or negative attitude toward people in a distinguishable group based solely on their membership in that group; it contains cognitive, emotional and behavioural components.
What are the three components of prejudice?
- 1. Cognitive component: beliefs or thoughts -> stereotypes
- Stereotype: a generalisation about a group of people in which certain traits are assigned to virtually all members of the group regardless of actual variation among the members.
- 2. Affective component: emotion linked with attitude (can last longer even when you know prejudice is wrong- implicit)
- 3. Behavioural component: actions -> discrimination
- Discrimination: unjustified negative or harmful action toward a member of a group solely because of his or her membership in that group.
Detecting supressed prejudices
- Sending identical resumes with one variation (gender name, religious affiliation, implies race)
- Bogus pipeline (fake lie detector): tend to be more prejudiced
Detecting implicit prejudices
Implicit association test (IAT): thought to measure unconscious (implicit) prejudices according to the speed with which people can pair a target face with a positive or negative association.
The effects of prejudice on the victim
- Self fulfilling prophecy: an expectation of one's own or another person's behaviour that comes true because of the tendency of the person holding it to act in ways that bring it about.
- Stereotype threat: the apprehension experienced by members of a group that their behaviour might confirm a cultural stereotype. Eg. african american performs poorly when they think they are measuring intellectual ability compared to whites.
- Can be reversed by reminding the group of people that eg. they go to a selective school. Self affirmation. Counterstereotype mindsets like abilities are improvable, understanding stereotype threat.
Causes of prejudice
What are the three aspects of social life that can cause prejudice?
- 1. Pressures to conform: Normative Rules.
- Institutional discrimination: practices that discriminate, legally or illegally, against a minority group based on target or societal or company prejudice.
- Normative conformity: the tendency to go along with the group in order to fulfil the group's expectations and gain acceptance.
- 2. Social Identity theory
- Social identity: the part of a person's self-concept that is based on his or her identification with a nation. religious or political group, occupation, or other social affiliation.
- Ethnocentrism: the belief that one's own ethnic group, nation or religion is superior to all others.
- In-group bias: the tendency to favour members of one's own group and give them special preference over people who belong to other groups; the group can be temporary and trivial as well as significant.
- Out-group homogeneity: the perception that individuals in the out group are more similar to each other (homogenous) than they really are, as well as more similar than members of the in group are.
- Blaming the victim: the tendency to blame individuals (make dispositional attributions) for their victimisation, typically motivated by a desire to see the world as a fair place.
- Justifying feelings of entitlement and superiority:
- 3. Realistic conflict theory: the idea that limited resources lead to conflict between groups and result in increased prejudice and discrimination.
- Economic and political competition: when times are tough and resources are scarce, in-group feel more threatened by the out-group.
What are the six conditions that can reduce prejudice?
- The contact hypothesis: that desegregation and increasing contact between groups would end prejudice.
- 1. Both sides must depend on each other to accomplish their goals
- 2. Both sides must pursue a common goal
- 3. Both sides must have equal status.
- 4. Both sides must get to know each other in a friendly, informal setting.
- 5. Both sides must be exposed to multiple members of the other group.
- 6. Both sides must know that the social norms of their group, institution, and community promote and support equality.
- Jigsaw classroom: a classroom setting designed to reduce prejudice and raise the self-esteem of children by placing them in small, multiethnic groups and making each child dependent on the other children in the group to learn the course material