• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Investigating Gender Differences in Helping.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Investigating Gender Differences in Helping.

Aim: To find out whether subjects will help opposite gender students faster than same sex helper would.

Introduction: Altruism is a form of pro-social behaviour in which a person will voluntarily help another at some cost to themselves. The primary motivation for altruistic behaviour is seen as a desire to improve the welfare of another person rather than the anticipation of some reward or for any other reason that might indicate self-interest. One of the major problems for psychologists has been determining what is truly altruistic and what might be better explained in terms of egoism. Batson et al.’s (1997) empathy-altruism hypothesis proposes that empathic concern evokes an altruistic motivation. Studies supporting this hypothesis have systematically varied whether individuals can only obtain egoistic goals by helping, or whether they can escape from the situation and obtain the egoistic goals without helping. These studies demonstrate that at least some people have helping intentions that are not explained by egoistic motivations, such as the relief of personal distress, escaping public shame for not helping, the relief of sadness, and the desire to make oneself happy. In one study, Batson et al. (1981) used a placebo drug which had no real effects but would led participants to interpret their reactions as high or low empathy. Participants then watched a female confederate (‘Elaine’) apparently receiving random electric shocks. After two trials the confederate appeared to become distressed.

...read more.

Middle

Both researches agree that when we come across someone in need we are likely to feel sad, and after helping them we are likely to feel happier. The difference is the reasons that we help for. Cialdini believes that we help for selfish reasons to make us feel better about ourselves, whereas Batson’s view is that we help others because the victim needs help and, by helping, we feel better about ourselves. In support of the negative state-relief model Cialdini found that when person feels empathy for another person, they also feel sadness. When the researchers manipulated these two emotions independently, they found that higher levels of sadness produced more helping, whereas increasing the amount of empathy was not accompanied by increasing likelihood of helping the other person. To explain these contradicting findings, Batson argues that we are more likely to feel empathic concern when we feel a close attachment with the person in need and it is possible that this form of altruism has developed as a result of kin selection, the tendency to help members of one’s kin because they carry many of the same genes as you. Research by Batson has found that people are more likely to help others when their similarity to the observer is stressed. On the other hand,

...read more.

Conclusion

Limitations are that the sample is too small, and females dropping the letters all looked different, which does not take into account that some females are more likely to be helped than others if they look more attractive or easily approachable. Another limitation is that the study is done at one time of day and in one small area. It could be that only certain type of people walk into town at given time and for example at 12 o’clock on a week day most people are likely to be working and so the people in the streets would most likely be unemployed or retired people which would make the results biased. It might be that those kind of people are less likely to help as they do not feel any empathy or close attachments to the young people or they have less stimulus overload and worries, so their need to alleviate negative emotions is less. As the study is done in one area, it might not be possible to generalise findings to other areas and cultures. It is suggested that individualistic countries are less likely to help than collectivist countries due to the values and beliefs of that culture. Research also shows that in big cities people are less likely to help, which could be attributed to stimulus overload.

Modifications would be to conduct the same experiment in different areas and at different times of day. The sample should be made bigger to get more reliable results.

References

Psychology for A2 Level, Mike Cardwell, Liz Clark, Claire Meldrum (2001)

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Height and Weight of Pupils and other Mayfield High School investigations section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Height and Weight of Pupils and other Mayfield High School investigations essays

  1. Show that different people have different reaction times according to their gender and the ...

    This shows a weak positive correlation of hand span to reaction time. Average (cm) Hand span (cm) Hand span Rank Average rank d d x d Female 01 16 20 21.5 12.0 9.5 90.25 Female 02 17 20 21.5 16.0 5.5 30.25 Female 03 16.7 20 21.5 14.5 7.0 49.00

  2. The media are a primary factor governing the circulation of subculture

    Initially, a colour bar was introduced that prohibited the participation of black or ethnic immigrants. However, there was a decline in serious white contenders and Americans had to relax the colour bar to allow a black man, Joseph Louis Barrow, to fight his way to the top of the heavyweight rankings and uphold America's symbolism.

  1. The purpose of this research paper is to present our findings on how the ...

    Victor Vroom: Expectancy Theory This theory states that an individual is likely to act in a certain way on the basis of the expectation that the act will be followed by a certain outcome and the attractiveness of that outcome to the individual.

  2. Examine the intersection of psychology and the media

    It is this fetish, an extreme intrigue in a supposed difference which creates the black male body as Other. There is also the idea that the black male body here is replacing the white female body, it is a passive object which comes under the male gaze as Laura Mulvey

  1. Coursework: Investigating research questions in the Sport and Exercise Sciences

    A recent popularity in keep fit style activities is the most likely cause to the rise in female participation. Despite this, there is still a significant gender difference in sports participation across all age ranges. (Figure 1) Figure 1 demonstrates the general decline in sport participation as age increases

  2. The Gender Project

    He found that most people regarded health as an entity within us that we use up and illness as something external that we make ourselves more prone to through our lifestyles or whether we lived in the city or the countryside, with people viewing the countryside as more healthy.

  1. Offers and Stipulation in Lonely Hearts Advertisements: A Comparison of Gender and Age.

    Another variable in lonely heart advertisements is age, whether advertisers offer or stipulate their age. Daly and Wilson (1983) assumed the universal assumption of marriage is that husbands are older, this maybe because older men possess valued resources. Age comes hand in hand with maturity and stability and is therefore less likely to dessert a relationship.

  2. Is race and intelligence a justifiable area of research in psychology?

    One example supporting a genetic link is from the authors of the Bell Curve, Hernstein and Murray (1994). They proposed that there is support for linking genetics and social status with intelligence. They extracted data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth conducted by the National Opinion Research Centre.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work