Altruism Among Military Personnel

Topics: Altruism / Pages: 11 (2674 words) / Published: Jan 20th, 2014
Altruism Among Military Personnel
Social Psychology
Amanda Miller
Excelsior College

Altruism among Military Personnel
This paper will be outlined by first discussing research regarding methods the military personnel engage in acts of altruism and pro-social behavior. Altruism behavior results from the selflessness and willingness to help other people without expecting any tangible reward in return. The military personnel have engaged in many acts of altruism that benefit others such as rescuing, protecting, giving humanitarian aid and fighting to save their country. People give out their possession out of good will; they give out time, money and energy. Individuals practice altruism because they feel obliged to important matters in their life such as career, social or religious factors (Gintis et al, 2003). In the past, the military goal in war was to defeat an enemy, thereby securing the country security. This was done by destroying the enemy capacity to fight thus demonstrating to the enemy that victory was impossible. The new doctrine advocates for the creation of safe-havens for the enemies instead of attacking them. This elevates the value of others over self and can be linked to altruism in military. The Just War Theory provides the basis of military ethics and doctrine and is the core moral principle in today warfare where altruism is applied directly (Fraser et al, 2004).
Altruism exists because of a number of reasons such as biological, cognitive, and neurological factors. Kinship relationship exhibit additional altruistic behaviors because they are always devoted to defending their genes for the future generation. Neurological traces the altruism from part of the brain which activates feelings in the brain (De Waal et al, 2007). Practicing altruistic acts tend to create pleasure on the brain and thus encourage such behaviors. Furthermore, altruistic behaviors create cognitive incentives, which help others



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