Why do people help?
Helping behavior is an important topic in social psychology. It is important to understand why people help, when they help and reasons for helping others. According to Kassin, pro-social behavior is an action intended to benefit others. The author also describes several factors of why people help. Among them, one is kin selection which is preferential helping of genetic relatives, which results in the greater likelihood that genes held in common will survive ( 2010, page 392). Another one is altruistic which is motivated by the desire to improve another’s welfare ( ). The author also describes the bystander effect in which the presence of others inhibits helping in an emergency indicates why the five steps necessary for helping—noticing, interpreting, taking responsibility, deciding how to help, and providing help. People are most likely to help others in certain circumstances: when they are not in rush. People who are in a good mood are more likely to help. Good mood makes people interpret events in a sympathetic way and it gives them more positive thoughts about helping behaviors. Also people in a bad mood can often increase helpfulness because they feel guilty about something and they may be motivated to help others in order to improve their mood. According to the article, “People help save man trapped in burning car” the author mentions how the residents in southwest Houston were helping to save a man’s life after he crashed his car into a tree, causing it to catch fire. The vehicle apparently hit a speed bump at a high rate of speed, and the driver lost control. The vehicle slammed into a tree head-on, and the car caught fire with the driver trapped inside. It was shortly before midnight Sunday in Houston. People were helping to save the man’s life. In this article, people were noticing the event, and interpreting it as an emergency. It also shows that this is not a diffusion of responsibility because people were taking the responsibility for proving help. They were taking the decision for providing help, and provided help. They started putting water on the blaze to keep it under control until firefighters arrived. The smoke was so intense that they had to take a brick and bust the window. The Houston Fire Department was able to put out the fire and cut away the vehicle’s door to get the driver out (Khou, April 15 2013). Khou believes the people in the community helped save the driver. The situation can influence helping. When two explosions occurred along the stretch of the Boston Marathon on Boston street in Boston on April 15th, three people were killed and more than 170 people were injured. People and communities came together to respond and help the best they could. According to the article “6 Examples of Awesome People Helping Boston Marathon Victims” the author wrote about the heroic people who were helping Boston Marathon victims. Carlos Arredondo is one of them. Carlos was there and he jumped over a fence and ran towards the people lying on the ground and where he found spectator Jeff Bauman with his shirt on fire and the lower parts of his legs gone. Arredondo beat the flames out with his hands, tied a t-shirt around the stump of one of Bauman’s legs, and kept him company until emergency responders arrived (Olivia, April 17, 2013). Joe Andruzzi carried an injured woman to safety. Joe also had carried a man covered in blood to the medical tent. 15 National Guard Members who were assembled at the medical tent near the finish line. They had water, extra uniforms, and first-aid with them on their backpacks. Alyssa Carter raised more than $220,000 on the crowd funding website to help pay her cousins’ medical bills. Boston Restaurants have been donating food and letting people use their establishments as places to regroup (Olivia, April 17, 2013). All above the examples clearly shows that the norm of social responsibility is powerful situational factors that lead individuals to help others. The norm of social responsibility dictates that people should help those who are in need of assistance. This norm creates a sense of duty and obligation to which people respond by giving more help to those in greater need of it. The helpers who were helping after the two explosions noticed the event first and subsequently interpreted it as an emergency. As a result, they took the responsibility and provided help the best possible way they could. Jason said there are countless stories of selfless people who risk their lives to save others after the Boston Marathon explosion. Jason mentions how much people are willing to help. This clearly shows of altruism. Helping the victims could possibly harm the own life of the helper and not helping keeps away from harm. So it was altruistic because the cost outweighed the reward. It is important to understand pro-social behavior and how helping behavior can be increased. Understanding why people help may help to understand how helping behavior can be increased. Elaborate using examples of where pro-social research can be applied in the real world and what information acquired through research can do to further the understanding of helping behavior?