PSY 490 Capstone Course in Psychology
Dennis Plunkett, MC, CC
July 29, 2013
Altruism and Psychology
The random act of kindness that I completed this week was buying an old man a coffee in front of me at Starbucks. He ordered a Grande Pike with room. I heard the order and said “I’ll get that miss” and without even hesitating handed over my card to pay for the drink. The older man look at me with a cracked smile and confused kind of look before muttering the words “you didn’t have to do that young man, but thank you” I replied with a smile on my face “no problem Sir”.
Now, let’s look at a definition of altruism: Altruism involves the unselfish concern for other people. It involves doing things simply out of a desire to help, not because you feel obligated to out of duty, loyalty, or religious reasons. (psychology.about.com) …show more content…
By reading this it is my interpretation that in order to be altruistic you have to do something and NOT gain anything by doing it. What do you think?
Now let’s breakdown the various reasons I could have done this:
1. To ensure that I did my random act of kindness as assigned by the school
2. To get a good feeling and a sense of pleasure, knowing that I helped someone
3. To make sure that I got points on my card
4. To speed up the process so that I didn’t have to wait in line any