March 14, 2011
Dr. Keisha Anthony
Pro-social behavior is important to social psychologists. The argument of what motivate someone to help someone else has been going on for many years and will be going on for many more probably. This author will briefly summarize the argument of altruism versus egotistic, evaluate the argument, and give a personal opinion on the subject of altruism versus egotistic.
Altruism or Egotistic
To determine altruism, it is important to identify some points of which the” egotistic and altruistic interpretation differ at a behavioral level” (Nier, 2010, p. 379). The conceptual distinction between egoism and altruism was determined to be first …show more content…
Batson and el al (1981) believe altruistic is the result of empathy. Cialdini and el al (1987) believes other motivations are the reason for helping others. The question of egotistic or altruistic motivation has been studied for a long time. Neither argument answered the question fully. According to Fiske (2010) “core social motives underlying prosocial behavior can include self-enhancement, trusting, belonging, or understanding. In helping research, a continuing controversy debates these motives respectively as egoism, altruism, collectivism, and principlism” (p. …show more content…
Empathic is defined by Eisenberg (2000) as “an affective response that mimics another person’s emotional state” (as cited by Fiske (2010), p. 365). Individuals do things to help others without thinking it over. For example, a man in New York jumped onto the subway tracks to save a woman life; he did not have time to think about what he was doing. Both the man and the woman were killed (Bearak, 2010). This author does not believe the man jumped onto the track because of personal distress or sadness. He jumped on the track because he saw a lady who needed help.
Another example, this author has witnessed was after Hurricane Katrina. Many came to the Gulf Coast to help, which this author believes was probably a combination of both altruism and egotistic. The end goal was to increase the welfare of those who had lose so much. To this author this is true altruism.
Social psychologists have tried to explain pro-social behavior because helping others is a good behavior. The argument “pits the empathy-altruism hypothesis against egoistic alternatives” (Fiske, 2010, p. 371). This paper has summarized the argument of altruism versus egotistic, evaluated the argument, and given a personal opinion on the subject of altruism versus egotistic.