Altruism Essay 3

Topics: Altruism, Reciprocal altruism, Bystander effect Pages: 2 (577 words) Published: December 15, 2010
Altruism voluntary helping behaviour involving empathy, that offers no apparent self-gain which is of benefit to another individual without selfishness. Empathy altruism hypothesis a theory that believes helping behaviour is initiated when empathy is felt towards another individual. Supporters of this theory is Daniel Batson (1991) how states empathy altruism helping is dependent on whether or not empathy is felt towards someone.

This theory has also been supported by Fultz et al (1986) who study proved that when a person feels empathy he/she will help another individual regardless of cost or reward. Empathy according to Hogg and Vaughan (1995) is the understanding of other peoples feelings, thoughts and being able to identify towards them.

It is also believed that individuals are unable to act selflessly when helping others, due to motivation of gain or benefit to oneself however small. Batson (2000) believes that no act of help is carried out of genuine concern of others. Dovidio, (1995) argues that there is universal egoism which sees people as selfish therefore altruism is not possible.

Reciprocal altruism according to Trivers, (1971) a form of co-operation trust, based on payback. It is based on the notion that the help is given in order that the recipient returns the favour. An example of this is ’if you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours’. Fehr and Fischbacher (2003) states reciprocal and co-operation is more common in humans.

Evolutionary approach see altruistic behaviour towards relatives and non relatives. Burnstein, Crandall, Katakana (1994) study saw people would help kin However, thinkers have questioned the fact that individuals are by nature selfless or selfish. The sympathetic instincts idea by McDougall (1908) suggests that this is the cause for altruistic acts.

Bystander intervention is a form of pro-social behaviour where the bystander intervenes to help the person is distress. Research into bystander intervention on altruism...
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