Does True Altruism Exist

Topics: Altruism, Social psychology, Defence mechanism Pages: 2 (584 words) Published: June 9, 2013
Does True Altruism Exist?
"Altruism describes a motive that makes people help because of genuine concern for others, to increase the welfare of others" (Fiske, 2010, p. 321). Altruism is when individuals are motivated to help others around them without expecting anything back in return; altruism comes from someone doing a good deed without having to be recognized for doing it. So the big question is "Does true altruism exist?" I think altruism does still exist, we can clearly see that it does especially when we have a natural disaster like the one that many suffered from in the latest EF5 tornado in Moore Oklahoma, many individuals came together to make donations, and their time.  "Altruism has been thought of as an ego defense, a form of sublimation in which a person copes with his anxiety by stepping outside himself and helping others. By focusing on the needs of others, people in altruistic vocations such as medicine or teaching may be able to permanently push their needs into the background, and so never have to address or even to acknowledge them. Conversely, people who care for a disabled or elderly person may experience profound anxiety and distress when this role is suddenly removed from them" (Burton, 2012, p. 1). Briefly Summarize Both Arguments Discussed in Issue 17

Daniel Boston, Bruce Duncan, Paula Ackerman, Terese Buckley, and Kimberly Birch do believe that individuals do sometimes help people for altruistic reasons. Empathy is a key factor that motivates altruism. Altruistic helping occurs when individuals help others just to help them get through the hard times that he or she is facing, and does so without expecting anything back in return for his or her good deed, results in empathic feelings (Nier, 2009). (No)

Robert Cialdini, Mark Schaller, Donald Houliham, Kevin Arps, Jim Fultz, and Arthur Beaman, believes that individuals are selfish and are motivated to help others for his or her own selfish reasons. Rober Cialdini and his...

References: Burton, N. (2012). Does True Altruism Exist? An example of altruism. Retrieved from,
Fiske, S. T. (2010). Social beings Core motives in social psychology (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ:
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