Human Relationships Study Guide

Topics: Kin selection, Altruism, Empathy-altruism Pages: 4 (1327 words) Published: January 1, 2013
Distinguish between altruism and prosocial behaviour.
• Pro-social behavior: behavior that benefits another person or has positive social consequences Definition is vague because it discusses the outcome but not the motivation e.g. When we offer sympathy to a friend that is upset or refrain from dropping scolding a person for doing something wrong. • Altruism: when one helps another person for no reward and even at some cost to oneself. It is a type of “helping behavior”(intentionally helps or benefits the other person) and the goal is to make a difference. (it can sometimes be thought to be a ‘heroic’ act)

Contrast two theories explaining altruism in humans.
Kin Altruism (it roots from the ‘evolutionary history’)
• Prosocial behaviors like altruism occur only to enhance reproductive success and foster the transmission of genes • More likely to help the people who are more related to us • Individual are most likely support those who are likely to contribute their genes • Flaws: Don’t explain why some agreed to help the ones who are not genetically related • Supporting study: Wilkinson et al.

- 26 months between the year 1978 to 1983 investigating vampire bats on a cattle ranch in Costa Rica called Hacienda La Pacifica - Aim: to investigate whether bats feed their own relatives thus engaging in kin selection theory or if they were reciprocally exchanging food, therefore engaged in reciprocity - The scientists tagged all bats in the study area with light weight bands of different colors - During the study the scientists witnessed 110 instances of blood sharing by regurgitation in which seventy percent of it took place between a mother and her pup - 30% involved adult females feeding the pops of the others, another adult female, and on two occasions, adult males feeding offspring - To determine whether bats regurgitate selectively, the scientists compared the degree of relatedness between the donor and the recipient along...
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