Attitude effects on Altruistic Behavior

Topics: Social psychology, Altruism, Touring car racing Pages: 8 (2591 words) Published: October 21, 2013

Attitude Effects on Altruistic Behavior

The effects of attitude on altruistic behavior was examined. A total of 9 college students participated in the experiment. The students were randomly chosen and then randomly assigned a group number 1, 2, or 3. There were 3 different groups of participants (i.e., friendly, moderate, unfriendly), each with 3 participants per group. To assist the researcher, the participants’ reaction time was observed. Results show that whether the researcher was friendly, moderate, or unfriendly, it did not affect the participants’ altruistic behavior. However, the reaction time when encountered with a friendly attitude/personality was faster than the reaction time when encountered with an unfriendly attitude/personality. It was also found that woman were more likely to assist the researcher in need more often then men.

Attitude Effects on Altruistic Behavior
Altruism is considered to be a behavior that benefits another at one’s own expense. In other words, it means to be completely unselfish. Whether it be helping out a fellow human being or a specific type of bird species that sings a “warning call” to alert the others of a nearby predator approaching, the majority of the human and animal population has either demonstrated, or has been on the receiving end of some version of altruistic behavior. Every individual has the ability to react differently to certain types of attitudes/personalities. In fact, Peter J.D. Carnivale, Dean G. Pruitt and Patricia I. Carrington (1982) found that there tends to be more helping behavior between people who like one another than between people who dislike one another. We have predicted that participants who do not encounter a friendly behavior, but a moderate or unfriendly behavior, would credit absolutely no aid to the researcher during the experiment. When an individual fails to allude warmth and kindness onto you, you are less likely to trust and take a liking to that individual compared to one that showers you with a warm smile and generous personality. Assuming that the trust is greater among individuals who like, rather than dislike one another, when faced with a request for help, an individual who already has a liking to that individual is more inclined to provide a helping hand (Carnivale et al., 1982). The main hypothesis for this experiment is that individuals who experience a friendly attitude/personality will be more likely to help that individual in a time of need.

The participants consisted of 9 college students (7 female, 2 male, age range: 19-47) from several different Psychology 100 classes at Santiago Canyon College in Orange, California in the Fall 2012 semester. Five of the participants were said to be Caucasian, 4 Hispanic, and 1 participant was said to be Indonesian. The participants that still remained in the hallway outside of the Research Methods classroom during the time we were allotted to conduct our experiment were to participate. The participants were randomly assigned a group number 1, 2, or 3. There were 3 different groups of participants each with 3 participants per group. The students participated in the experiment to gain extra credit points in their psychology class. Materials and Apparatus

Each participant sat in a four-legged college class chair, and was given a half sheet of white printer paper with a five-question survey on memory. The questions were written in 12 pt, Times New Roman font. In the top left corner of each of the surveys was an area to put their age, gender, and ethnicity. Each participant was given a yellow number 2 pencil to complete the survey. In front of all 3 of the participants, another four-legged college class chair was placed with a 7X11 inch clear box of Legos resting on top of it. A stopwatch that is accurate to .01 secs was used to measure the response time.

Design and...

References: Carnevale, P. J. D., Pruitt, D. G., & Carrington, P. I. (1982). Effects of future dependence,
liking and repeated requests for help on helping behavior. Social Psychology Quarterly, 45, 9-14
Karakashian, L. M., Walter, M. I., Christopher, A. N., & Lucas, T. (2006). Fear of negative
evaluation affects helping behavior: the bystander effect revisted. North American Journal of Psychology, 8, 13-32
Vrugt, A., & Vet, C. (2009). Effects of a smile on mood and helping behavior.
Social Behavior and Personality, 37, 1251-1258
Figure I
Results show that out of groups 1 (friendly), 2 (moderate), and 3(unfriendly), Group 1 and 3 each had one participant choose to help the researcher gather the spilt Legos. In Group 2, there were no participants that volunteered to assist the researcher.
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