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Types of Altruism

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Introduction

´╗┐ALTRUISM Altruism Brittany Jones Psy/490 February 28, 2012 Rebecca Gill ________________ Altruism One memorable act of kindness that I have done in my lifetime was producing a fundraiser for Scripps Mercy cancer center. My mother was fighting cancer at the time of my decision to assemble the event. I planned the fundraiser for six months and set the date to be around mother?s day. The fundraiser was a great success, though my mother passed before the event. The fundraiser became not just an event to support cancer treatment but also to remember the life of a woman who fought without showing how ill she was. Since then I have been working in a hospital, where I do many random acts of kindness on a day-to-day basis. The list varies from helping someone who falls into a seizure to roaming all 12 stories of the hospital to find a patient his or her favorite drink. ...read more.

Middle

This is often practiced in mothers but could also be defined as someone jumping in front of another to catch a bullet. Altruism improved the human condition by making people feel better about one?s self. The most common incentive as to why individuals perform altruistic acts is to make one feel better about one?s self. For instance giving a homeless person some spare change is not going to help the homeless person buy a healthy meal. Most likely it will encourage one?s bad habits that made one homeless in the first place. However the person that donated the money will feel better because they feel that they did a kind anonymous act. This sort of act of kindness falls close to the limit of altruism because it was made under selfish reasoning. This is a selfish act because most people who give homeless people money know that it is not going to help them get better; they do it intentionally to make themselves feel better about whom they are. ...read more.

Conclusion

The theory called the Bystander Effect states that individuals who are in areas of higher population are less likely to attend to someone in need of help because they believe that someone else will help them. True altruism is to do a good deed that has no gain for one?s self, such as jumping in front of a train to save someone. Moments like these are hard to find, especially in high populated areas. Studies have shown that many people are found dead on the streets of urban districts due to the bystander effect. Coming from my own experience, witnessed at my job and living in the urban district of San Diego, I believe the bystander effect to be true. I can remember driving by car accidents and not stopping because I figured that someone else will help and that I didn?t want to take responsibility in the fear of making a medical mistake that could jeopardize my job. I believe that as the population continues to grow and cities become denser, true altruism will become an ambitious form of thought. ...read more.

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