Ch.12 Helping

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Why do we help?
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According to social exchange theory, human interactions are \”transactions\” that aim to maximize one’s rewards and minimize one’s costs.
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Rewards:
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Rewards that motivate helping may be external or internal.
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External Rewards:
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money, favors, get someone to like us, improve our image.
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Internal Rewards:
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Feeling good about what you did; emotional state. Helping can boost mood: do-good/feel good effect.
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Altruism:
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motivated to help another without conscious regard for one’s self-interest.
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Egoism:
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A motive to increase one’s own welfare.
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Reduction of guilt (Feel-bad/do-good):
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Experiment-helping the person you lied to. Exceptions-some \”bad\” moods don’t lead to helping (anger,grief). Effect occurs only with people whose attention is on others, not yourself.
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Feel good, do good:
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Positive mood-> helping (both children and adults).
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Reciprocity norm:
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Expectation that people will help, not hurt, those who have helped them. Helps define the social capital: supportive connections, information flow, trust, and cooperative actions; watching out for one another.
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Unsolicited help can, at times, ..
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…hurt self-esteem.
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Social-responsibility norm:
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You should help those NEED hel[p, and it’s not their fault (e.g, kids, elderly, disabled); sympathy-based.
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Gender and Receiving Help:
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Women offer help equally to males and females. Men offer more help when the persons in need are women. \”Motives?\” Women more likely to seek help.
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Social Capital:
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The mutual support and cooperation enabled by a social network.
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Kin Selection:
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Idea that evolution has selected altruism toward one’s close relatives to enhance the survival of mutually shared genes. (children in particular, Identical twins more likely to help each other than fraternal twins, people who look more like us (share similar features)).
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Reciprocity:
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-Predicted by genetic self-interest (if I help you, you’ll help me). -Works best in small, isolated groups (more likely to run into the person who owes you).
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Group selection:
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When in competition groups that help other group members are more likely to survive than groups that don’t support/help their members.
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Helping Ourselves vs.Others:
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Our willingness to help is influenced by both self-serving and selfless considerations.
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Viewing another’s distress when distressed:
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Emotion: Distress (upset, anxious, disturbed)->Motive:Egoistic motivation to reduce own distress.->Behavior:Behavior (possibly helping) to achieve reduction of own distress.
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Viewing another’s distress when empathetic:
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Emotion: Empathy (sympathy and compassion for other)->Motive:Altruistic motivation to reduce other’s distress. ->Behavior: Behavior (helping) to achieve reduction of other’s distress.
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Empathy:
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Experiencing another’s feelings;often occurs naturally.
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More empathy for:
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People we’re attached to; people who we identify with; an individual vs group.
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Recipe for empathy:
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value another’s well-being; perceive the person as genuinely in need; getting a (small) dose of what one is feeling.
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Caveat for empathy:
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if we feel empathy, we know we’ll feel better if we help, but is something else can make us feel better too we’re less likely to help.
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Genuine empathy:
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DOES seem to exist.
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When are we likely to help?
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Number of bystanders is VERY important.
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The case of Kitty Genevese:
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A woman gets stabbed repeatedly as she returned from work. 38 people witnessed the attacked, no one helped. She died.
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Noticing:
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we are MORE likely to notice a situation if we are lone.
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Interpreting:
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-How are other’s reacting? Informational influence; illusion of transparency. -Bystander effect: a person is less likely to provide help when there are other bystanders.
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Assuming responsibility vs diffusion of responsibility:
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-We don’t think the presence of others affects us as much as it does.
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Helping When Someone Else Does:
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Prosocial models do promote helping.
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Time pressures:
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Good Samaritan parable.
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Bystander effect:
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The finding that a person is less likely to provide help when there are other bystanders.
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Similarity:
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We tend to help those whom we percieve as being similar to us. (Similarity doesn’t always have to be physical appearance.
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Personality Traits:
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-Not really a single \”trait\” that predicts helping. -There are individual differences, some people are, in general, more likely to help compared to others. -Possibly a network of traits: Positive emotionality; empathy; self-efficacy.
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Gender:
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-if the situation is somewhat dangerous, men are more likely to help; in \”safer\” situations, women are more likely to help. (women more empathetic).
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Religious Faith:
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Predicts long-term altruism, as reflected in volunteerism and charitable contributions.
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Reduce Ambiguity, Increase Responsibility:
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-Personalizing bystanders: personal request, eye contact, stating one’s name, anticipation of interaction.
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Personalization makes the person more self-aware:
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-Self awareness can also be increased with mirrors, nametags, knowing others are watching.
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Guilt and Concern for self-image:
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-Door-in-the-face technique: after first turning down a large request (feel guilty) we’re more likely to comply with a smaller request.
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Guilt and Concern for Self-image Caveat:
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ask for something REALLY TINY->end up getting more.
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Teaching moral inclusion:
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moral concern for many people/a diverse set of people.
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Moral exclusion:
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some people are not in one’s circle of moral concern; moral values and fairness rules are not applied. -Personalization of the \”outgroup\”-> increase helping.
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Modeling altruism:
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-Real-life modeling: family, or even strangers and people we will never meet. -Media modeling: watching prosocial shows -> prosocial behaviors.
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Learning by doing:
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Helpful actions increase the perception that we are a caring and helpful person -> helps with a positive self-concept->we want to maintain that self-concept-> continue to be helpful.
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Attributing helpful behavior to altruistic motives:
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-Over-justification effect: Rewarding people highly/bribing them for doing what they already like doing-> decrease the intrinsic motivation and behavior. -Solution: don’t reward people, or only give them a very small reward.
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Altruism:
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