Human Observation Project
20 August 2012
Prosocial behavior refers to "voluntary actions that are intended to help or benefit another individual or group of individuals" (Eisenberg and Mussen 1989). This definition refers to consequences of the people who do the actions rather than the motivations behind those actions. These behaviors include a broad range of activities: sharing, comforting, rescuing, and helping. Though prosocial behavior can be confused with altruism, they are, in fact, two distinct concepts. Prosocial behavior refers to a pattern of activity, whereas, altruism is the motivation to help others out of pure regard for their needs rather than how the action will benefit oneself. A familiar example of altruism is when an individual makes an anonymous donation to a person, group or institution without any resulting recognition, political or economic gain; here, the donation is the prosocial action and the altruism is what motivates the doer to action. II.
Society teaches that a good person is helpful of others, this is where the procicial behavior, altruism, philanthropy and egoism and mutual benefit get very well separate although they are very similar. More males are whiling to help a good looking single woman that drops her keys than women are. Even little boys are more prone to help the subject mentioned above than little girls. III.
Between the hours of 1:00 and 3:00 on Saturday and Sunday afternoon adults and children walking from the Wal-Mart parking lot to the store and back, tend to be more helpful of a woman that is dressed up and seems attractive with some items that she dropped than they do to a dirty not so attractive woman on the same situation on the following weekend. IV.
Procedure or Methodology:
The investigator dressed up and made herself look appealing and acted very friendly. She smiled at the subjects as they approached her, she purposely dropped some items to see who would help her. An assistant was trained to stand at corner to observe from a different point of view. On the following weekend at the same days and times the investigator made herself look dirty and not as attractive as she looked the previous weekend. She still just as friendly and kept the same smile as she dropped some items in front of the same Walt-mart. This time she had a one year old child with her. The infant was friendly as well. A composition notebook was used by the assistant to record the behavior. These dates are going to be labeled W1 and W2.
15 samples were taken on both weekends, out of these samples. The amount of people walking back and forth is unknown but in the 2 hour period with breaks in between only 15 people stopped and helped. These samples are divided as follows: on W1 ten people stopped and helped the investigator, six of them were males between the ages of approximately 20 thru 30 years of age. They all seem to be more interested on getting a date rather than helping. There were two very helpful little boys no older than 10 and two women that were walking very close to the investigator when she dropped the items. No little girls stopped to help. On W2 on the same exact time frame only 5 samples were collected, 3 were men above 40 years of age and 2 women of advance age. No children stopped this time, both men and women were more interested on playing with the infant accompanying the investigator. VI.
The results show that on W1 men were showing the egotistic behavior and motivated by self-gain rather than altruism or prosocial behavior. The females and the little boys both showed a prosocial behavior moved by the motivation of helping someone. Behavior Change
State the Problem:
The results of the observation support the theory that procicial behavior, altruism, philanthropy and egoism and mutual benefit get very well separate although they...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document