Diffusion of Responsibility

Topics: Bystander effect, Kitty Genovese, Social psychology Pages: 3 (767 words) Published: November 3, 2013

Week 9
Week 9 Application: Diffusion of Responsibility
Pro-Social Behavior

Conceptually, pro-social behavior includes behavior intended to benefit others, including behaviors such as helping, comforting, sharing, cooperating, reassuring, defending, and showing concern (Fiske, 2012, pg. 342). Pro-social behavior is intended to help another individual or group, but not benefit the self. Pro-social behavior reflects four types of social motivation, which reflects our core social motives (Fiske, 2012, pg. 346). The four motives include: Egoism, Altruism, Collectivism, and Principlism. Egoism involves behavior that focuses on self-interest as the main motive. Self-enhancing and self-benefit are the goals or pro-social behavior with egoism motives. People who help others with self-enhancement intent do so in order to feel better about themselves. For example, a person who volunteers for a cause does so merely to feel better about themselves. Altruism is the opposite of egoism. Individuals who perform helpful acts for others do so purely for genuine concern and/or to increase the welfare of others (Fiske, 2012, pg. 347). People who perform altruism acts feel empathy, concern, and/or sympathy for another. People who act in an altruistic way see the world as benevolent (Fiske, 2012, pg. 347). A Collectivism approach is concerned for the welfare of a group (Fiske, 2012, pg. 347). These individuals wish to remain a part of a group and perform pro-social acts in order to adhere to the group norms. Such individuals with collective motives look to maintain in-group status, and belonging to a group. The motive of principlism is concerned with moral standards; what is considered right verses wrong. Both understanding and controlling motives play a part, and principles and abstract standards guide such behavior (Fiske, 2012, pg. 347). People who view values as their reasoning to perform pro-social acts demonstrate principlism. Diffusion of...

References: Fiske, S. T. (2012). Social Beings: Core motives in social psychology (2nd ed.) Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.  
The heroic imagination. (2013). Retrieved from http://heroicimagination.org/public-resources/social-influence-forces/bystander-effect-and-diffusion/
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