Altruism and Helping Behavior


Batson's 4 Motivations for Prosocial Behavior

- Egoism
- Altruism
- Collectivism
- Principlism


Batson on Empathy

- Empathy should produce more helping, more sensitive, & less fickle help
- Empathy should produce less aggression
- Empathy-induced altruism reduces conflict
  High empathy increased cooperation in a Prisoner's Dilemma study
    (cont: .30, low: .35, high: .70)
  High empathy increased cooperation even when the other defected first
    (cont: .00, low: .10, high: .45)


3 Major Explanations for the Bystander Effect (Lesko)

- Diffusion of responsibility--responsibility divided among all bystanders
- Social influence effects--we look to others for information
--Audience--inhibition to avoid looking foolish


Motivations for Volunteerism (Snyder et al.)

- Values: To act on humanitarian values and concern for others
- Understanding: To learn about people or learn skills
- Social: To be part of a group and gain approval
- Career: To enhance job prospects with experiences and contacts
- Ego Protections: To reduce guilt or escape personal problems
- Esteem Enhancement: To boost self-worth and confidence


return to Social Psychology