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If the ways in which I helped others tied in with Social exchange theory; it would probably have to be considered in a few weeks or months time. For example, the next time I ask my uncle for a favour, he may remember the time I helped him

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Social Psychology Assignment 1 1.a) Compassion - a deep humane awareness of and sympathy for the suffering of others and a desire to do something about it. I tried to be compassionate throughout the day, and a few of examples of how I did so are * I gave up my seat for an old woman on the bus. * I helped my uncle tidy the garage. * By listening to a friends dilemma and trying to give helpful advice and be supportive * I lent a hand to my little brothers school project he was working on * My granddad was redecorating his flat, so I went round and helped him. b) Altruism- a drive within people to help others. A pure form of selfless helping. Empathy- not truly altruistic but still concerned with 'the other'. An intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another. Egoistic- is the claim that people always act selfishly, to foster their own self-interest or happiness. c) My helping behaviour could be defined as being in general, empathetic. I felt that when deciding to help the people that I did, it was due to feeling sympathy or understanding with them, when observing them doing something and realising that they could do with some help, I offered it. ...read more.


2b) Evolutionary theory views many social behaviours are echoes of actions that contributed to the survival of our prehistoric ancestors. (Burnstein and Brannigan, 2001) Research has shown that people are much more likely to donate organs to family members than to strangers. There appears to be a stronger sense of social obligation to relatives than to others. Nevertheless, psychologists who take an evolutionary approach to helping suggest that when, for example, one family member donates an organ to save the life of another, the donor is helping to certify the survival of the genes he or she shares with the recipient. There is considerable evidence that kin selection occurs among birds, squirrels and other animals. The more closely the animals are related, the more likely they are to risk their lives for one another. Studies in a wide variety of cultures show the same patterns of helping among humans. (Buss, 1999) Identical twins have been found to be more willing to help one another than fraternal twins or siblings. (Segal, 1999) The reciprocity norm is an economic model of behaviour which takes the view of 'do unto others as you would have them do to you'. It links in with Gouldners theory of social exchange. ...read more.


This model is thought to function in non-emergencies, i.e situations like giving to charity. Observers help others in order to increase their own moods. However, I disagree with this theory. In relation to myself, I have found out that if I feel in a bad mood in the slightest then I don't feel like helping anyone, whoever they may be. 4) Being compassionate to others, for the entire day was much more hard work than I had expected. When it came to the late evening, I was getting quite negative about the whole thing; I was in a slightly bad mood and didn't feel like speaking to anyone, let alone helping them and being compassionate. In relation to this, my behaviour could be said to be the polar opposite to that of the negative state relief model. My behaviour was different to normal as in certain cases I was making a conscious decision to try and help when in normal circumstances I may not have been so quick to offer assistance. Now having analysed the different types of helping behaviour and theories, I think in future I will be more conscious as to who I help and when I do so; as I will be thinking about others thoughts as to why they think I am helping; am I being egoistic or altruistic etc? ...read more.

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