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Chapter 8 - Prosocial Behavior

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  1. Chapter 8 - Prosocial Behavior • What is Prosocial Behavior? • Your Fair Share • Cooperation, Forgiveness, Obedience, and Conformity • Why Do People Help Others? • Who Helps Whom? • Bystander Help in Emergencies • How Can We Increase Helping?

  2. Doing What’s Best for Others • Oskar Schindler – Holocaust rescues • Why do humans behave in helpful and cooperative ways even when it is not in their own self interest to do so?

  3. What is Prosocial Behavior? • Doing something good for someone or for society • Builds relationships; allows society to function • Includes helping others • Obeying the rules • Conforming to socially acceptable behavior • Cooperating with others

  4. Factors in Prosocial Behavior • Effective rule of law • Fairness and justice • Public circumstances • Wanting to make a good impression

  5. Reciprocity • Obligation to return in kind what another has done for us • Direct reciprocity • Indirect reciprocity • Willingness to request or accept help is often predicated on ability to return in kind

  6. Fairness • Norms that promote fairness • Equity • Equality • People desire a system based on fairness and social exchange • Sensitivity about being the target of a threatening upward comparison

  7. Unfairness • Underbenefited • Getting less than you deserve • Overbenefited • Getting more than you deserve • Fairness requires both and is found only in humans • Survivor guilt

  8. Your Fair Share • Tragedy of the Commons • Depletion of resources owned collectively • Hoarding • Can be influenced by group and individual differences

  9. Cooperation • Each person does their part and work toward a common goal • Prisoner’s dilemma • Forced to choose between competition and cooperation • If one of the pair is not cooperative, then cooperation is typically doomed • Communication improves cooperation

  10. Tradeoffs - Prisoner’s Dilemma • Choice is between cooperative response and an antagonistic response • Choice is between what is best for one person versus what is best for everyone • Non-zero-sum game

  11. Imprisoned In a Role PLAYVIDEO

  12. Forgiveness • Ceasing to feel anger toward or seek retribution against someone who has wronged you • Forgiveness helps repair relationships • Provides health benefits to both parties

  13. Forgiveness • When is forgiveness more likely? • Minor offense • Offender apologizes • Who is more likely to forgive? • Religious people • People committed to a relationship • Not self-centered or narcissistic

  14. Is Bad Stronger Than Good? Moral and Immoral • Establishing a good reputation can be shattered by one scandal • A good impression, established by moral behavior, can be ruined by the slightest immoral behavior • Very difficult to reverse an initial bad impression with subsequent good behaviors

  15. Obedience • Following orders from an authority figure • Milgram (1963) • Majority of participants delivered extreme shocks to a screaming victim in obedience to an authority figure

  16. Obedience • Milgram’s research represented obedience as a negative (negative outcome) • Without obedience, society would not function • Obedience fosters • Social acceptance • Group life

  17. Conformity • Going along with the crowd • May be good or bad • Asch (1955, 1956) • Normative social influence • Conformity to be accepted by the group • Informational social influence • Conformity based on actions of others as evidence about reality

  18. Conformity • People conform more when others are watching them • Public conformity • Going along with the crowd regardless of what one privately believes • Private attitude change • Altering one’s internal attitude

  19. Food for Thought - Restaurants, Rules, and the Bad Taste of Nonconformity • In restaurants we tend to be nonconforming • People tend to order different menu items • People who order the same item, when it is their first choice, enjoy it more than those who switch to avoid conformity

  20. Why Do People Help Others? • Evolutionary benefits • Kin selection • More likely to help others who share our genes • Life-and-death helping is affected more strongly by genetic relatedness

  21. Why Do People Help Others? • Egoistic helping • Wanting something in return for helping • Negative state relief theory – help to reduce your own distress • Altruistic helping • Expecting nothing in return for helping • Motivated by empathy

  22. Why Do People Help Others? • Empathy-altruism hypothesis • Empathy motivates people to reduce other’s distress • Low empathy, people can reduce their own distress by escaping the situation • Batson et al. (1981) • Negative state relief theory

  23. Who Helps Whom? • Helpful Personality • Similarity • Males are more helpful in broader public sphere, toward strangers and in emergencies • Females are more helpful in family sphere, toward close relationships and in repeated contact

  24. Who Helps Whom? • Females feel more sympathy and empathy • Females are more likely to receive help • Beautiful victims

  25. The Social Side of Sex Helping, Sex, and Friends • Many people are introduced to sex partners by friends, co-workers, and relatives • Spring break sex • Men will support and help each other to engage in casual sex • Women will support and help each other to avoid casual sex

  26. Belief in a Just World • Life is essentially fair and people generally get what they deserve • Blaming the victim • Fallacy of affirming the consequent • People who hold belief in a just world will help if they think those people deserve help

  27. Emotion and Helping • Positive feelings increase helping • Negative emotions may or may not increase helping • Focus on self versus the victim

  28. Bystander Helping in Emergencies • Kitty Genovese • Bystander effect – people less likely to help when they are in the presence of others

  29. Thanks For Nothing: Bystander Apathy PLAYVIDEO

  30. Steps to Helping • Notice that something is happening • Interpret meaning of event • Pluralistic ignorance • Taking responsibility for providing help • Diffusion of responsibility • Know how to help • Provide help

  31. Too Busy to Help? • People in a hurry, help less • Even when thinking about helping • The more time people had, the more likely they were to help

  32. How Can We Increase Helping? • Obstacles to helping can be overcome when you • Reduce distractions • Reduce pluralistic ignorance • Reduce diffusion of responsibility • Reduce concerns about competence to help • Reduce audience inhibitions

  33. How Can We Increase Helping? • Helping can be increased by • Reduce uncertainties of obstacles • Educate others about bystander indifference • Model helpfulness • Teach moral inclusion

  34. What Makes Us Human? • Humans that help individuals and society • Humans frequently exhibit prosocial behavior toward others who are not family • Rule following, obedience, and conformity are prosocial acts • Reciprocity and cooperation with strangers