The Three Experiments on Altruism

1. Introduction

Different virtues are taught and encouraged in almost all cultures and religions. In most cases some of the virtues influence the relationships that exist among people in a given society. One such virtue is altruism which is defined as the unselfish concern for the well-being of others (Piliavin, 1996). The concept of altruism has been studied extensively in social psychology and philosophy. In this paper, I will review different experiments on altruism and discuss their implications.

2. literature review

The concept of altruism has been studied extensively in social psychology and philosophy. A number of researchers have proposed different definitions of altruism. For instance, Davis (2000) defines altruism as “a motive to increase another’s welfare without conscious regard for one’s own interest.” According to Piliavin (1996), altruism is “an unselfish concern for the welfare of others.” other researchers have proposed slightly different definitions but the general idea is that altruism involve caring for others without expecting anything in return.

Theoretical accounts of altruism also vary significantly. For instance, some theorists believe that altruism is an innate human trait while others argue that it is learned through socialization. There are also those who believe that altruistic behavior is motivated by self-interest.

A number of experiments have been conducted to study altruistic behavior. I will now review three experiments on altruism. The first experiment was conducted by Davis (2000). In this experiment, participants were asked to rate how much they agreed with statements such as “I would be willing to work long hours to help a friend in need” on a scale from 1 ( strongly disagree) to 7 ( strongly agree). The results showed that people from collectivistic cultures (e.g., China, Japan) were more likely to endorse altruistic statements than people from individualistic cultures (e.g., United States, Canada). This suggests that collectivistic cultures are more likely to encourage prosocial behavior than individualistic cultures.

The second experiment was conducted by Fiske (1991). In this experiment, participants were asked to read scenarios in which a character helped another person in need. The results showed that participants were more likely to helping behavior when the recipient was someone they knew (e.g., a friend) than when the recipient was a stranger. This suggests that people are more likely to help someone they know than a stranger.

The third experiment was conducted by Piliavin et al. (1981). In this experiment, participants were asked to bleeding victims on the street. The results showed that participants were more likely to help if the victim was a child than if the victim was an adult. This suggests that people are more likely to help children than adults.

3. discussion

The three experiments reviewed in this paper suggest that people are more likely to engage in prosocial behaviors if they have a personal connection with the recipient or if the recipient is a child. These findings are consistent with other research on prosocial behavior which has shown that people are more likely to help someone they know or care about (Davis, 2000; Fiske, 1991; Piliavin et al., 1981).

There are a number of possible explanations for why people are more likely to engage in prosocial behaviors if they have a personal connection with the recipient. One possibility is that people are more likely to help someone they know because they care about them and want to see them do well. Another possibility is that people are more likely to help someone they know because they expect to be helped by them in the future.

4. conclusion

In conclusion, the three experiments reviewed in this paper suggest that people are more likely to engage in prosocial behaviors if they have a personal connection with the recipient or if the recipient is a child. These findings add to our understanding of altruism and prosocial behavior.
References

Davis, M. H. (2000). Empathy: A social psychological approach. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Fiske, S. T. (1991). Structures of social life: The four elementary forms of human relations. New York, NY: Free Press.

Piliavin, J. A., Dovidio, J. F., Gaertner, S. L., & Garcia, M. (1981). Good Samaritanism: An underground phenomenon? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40, 742-753.

FAQ

Pro-social behavior is any action that is intended to help or benefit another person. It is important because it helps to create a more positive and cooperative social environment.

We can encourage pro-social behavior in others by modeling it ourselves and by rewarding those who display it.

The benefits of living in a society with more pro-social individuals include increased cooperation, greater altruism, and improved relationships.