u05d2 Altruism

Your text describes the controversy over whether or not true altruism exists. Does true altruism exist as Batson (1991) claims or is all prosocial behavior driven by selfish motives such as the rewards of helping? Analyze research on both sides of this controversial issue and provide support for your conclusion. Reference

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Attributes and Evaluation of Discussion Contributions. Professional Communications and Writing Guide.

Daniel Batson (2002) theorized that some helpful actions are the result of selfless altruistic motives. Altruism is the quality of selflessness in the concern and welfare of others (Kassin, Fein, & Markus, 2008). It is important to note that the focus of Batson’s theory is does not include considerations of the costs/benefit analysis of the helper. True altruism is characterized by personal sacrifice regardless of external rewards or costs. Two foundational cognitive and emotional components that are critical to Batson’s theory are perspective taking and empathic concern. He proposed, as a result of the main cognitive complex skill of perspective taking, a potential helper can imagine the world through the eyes of others and thus demonstrate other-oriented feelings of compassion and sympathy (Kassin, Fein, & Markus, 2008). Consequently, the helper responds with self-oriented feelings of personal distress towards the person in need. Complications in the theory of true altruism develop when egotistical motives enter into the empathy-altruism hypothesis. Batson believed that the imagine-self perspective involves an egotistical motive and concern, which may hinder a helper’s involvement in relieving the distress of another. However, when a helper initiates an imagine-other perspective, he believed the result is an altruistic approach to helping. Some researchers have offered alternative views on helping others from an egotistical perspective (Kassin, Fein, & Markus, 2008). Some helpers may help because they feel a positive sense of well being or empathic joy. Others may help simply because of social pressures of feeling guilty if they don’t, while others may initiate help based on potential rewards. The question of whether true altruism exists has been studied by various researchers. Some have proposed it is often a mixture of altruism and egotistical motives (Kassin, Fein, & Markus, 2008). At times it may be difficult to differentiate between the two. Indeed, in response to emergency situations a potential helper may experience a merger or “oneness” of egotistical and altruistic concerns. Furthermore, even if a potential helper experiences empathic concerns for another, the cost may be too great to result in a helpful action. It appears that on a continuum of altruistic-egotistic motivations all of the above are possible. I am not convinced that Batson’s theory is detailed and accurate enough. It seems to me the initiation of an early self monitoring mechanism of recognizing connectiveness to another and personal availability is primary. Familiarity with another in distress, results in lower reaction

However. socioeconomic.). Self awareness often leads to an analysis of one’s self concept. religious and physiological components all offer internalized response data that helps: 1) establish personal and contextual identity and. References Kassin.times and altruistic responses. H. Moreover. Approaching an imminent level of anxiety in relieving the distress of another can be hindered by an avoidant or anxious attachment status. provided availability is positively resolved. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. psychosocial. the debate over nature vs. Social psychology (7th ed. Furthermore. . Self image identity issues in dynamic tension with sociocultural. attachment is a critical aspect of self concept development. ISBN: 9780618989966. S. 2) rules of engagement. self image monitoring involves more than simply labeling ones reaction as altruistic or egotistic. Competency in contrast to bystander effect then becomes a defining filter at this juncture that results in approach or avoidance in relieving another’s distress. it may even be possible for an individual with preoccupied attachment to offer help based upon negative self relief. S. an internalized nurturing component. Secondly. & Markus. the prospect of feelings of personal well being or potential reward. nurture and worldview seems crucial here as well but is not a part of Batson’s theory. (2008). Fein.

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