Friday, March 29, 2019
Before anything, what is altruism? Altruism is referred to as the unselfish concern for other people’s wellbeing. Daily Life is filled with small acts of altruism or acts of kindness. That is from a grocery store vendor to the woman in the parking lot giving ten dollars to homeless street kids.
Do you know the theories behind altruism? If not, below are altruism theories.
This is an evolutionary theory which states that people are likely to help blood relatives because it increases the probability of gene transmission to the upcoming generations.
In other words, altruism unto close relatives occurs for a continuation of sharing genes. Hence, if people are genetically related, they have the highest chances of helping each other.
Neurobiologists have found that altruism activates brain’s centers. The findings further state, when one engages in altruistic activities, pleasure centers of the brain instantly become active.
In regard to Stanford research, interactions and relationships can influence or enhance altruistic behavior.
Social norms such as rules and expectations can either facilitate people to engage or not engage in altruistic acts. For instance, the norm of reciprocity is a social expectation where one feel pressured to help others if they have already done something to them like a situation where a friend loan you $30, you will feel compelled to loan him $ 100 when he requests you. He did something for you; you feel obligated to do something in return.
Altruism is defined as doing something for others without expecting rewards. But this is not the case on many occasions; there may be cognitive incentives that are not obvious. For instance, you may help others to relieve your distress or upholding the view of being kind.
Researchers suggest that individuals are likely to engage in altruistic behavior due to the empathy they feel for distressed persons. This is known as the empathy-altruism hypothesis. In most cases, as the sense of empathy develops, children tend to become more altruistic.
HELPING RELIEVES NEGATIVE FEELINGS
Experts have proposed that when someone behaves altruistically, they relieve the negative feelings created when seeing someone else suffering. This is known as negative-state relief model.
Normally, seeing other people in agonies make many people feel upset, uncomfortable and distressed. Hence, helping the troubled person will reduce negative feelings.
COMPARING THE ALTRUISM THEORIES
The main point of contention is whether people engage in altruism for helping purposes or there are hidden benefits. Social psychologists believe that there’s true altruism in as much as some people may engage in altruism for selfish reasons.
For you to give or help someone, you have to be contended with what you have. You can’t give what you don’t have. The idea behind altruism is helping without expecting rewards.
No matter which circumstance or aspect that compels you help, ensure you are comfortable and you the capacity. Don’t engage in altruism if you got some challenges that need to be addressed. This is where many people go wrong.