Social Psychology Week Ten #2

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Prosocial Behaviour

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Altruism A special form of helping behaviour, sometimes costly, that shows concern for fellow human beings and is performed without expectation of personal gain
Bystander-Calculus Model In attending to an emergency, the bystander calculates the perceived costs and benefits of proving help compared with those associated with not helping
Bystander Effect People are less likely to help in an emergency when they are with others than when alone. The greater the number, the less likely it is that anyone will help
Bystander Intervention This occurs when an individual breaks out of the role of a bystander and helps another person in an emergency
Diffusion of Responsibility Tendency of an individual to assume that others will take responsibility (as a result, no one does). This is a hypothesized cause of the bystander effect
Emergency Situation Often involves an unusual event, can vary in nature, is unplanned, and requires a quick response
Empathetic Concern An element of Batson's theory of helping behaviour. In contrast to personal distress (which may lead us to flee from the situation), it includes feelings of warmth, being soft-hearted, and having compassion for a person in need
Empathy Ability to feel another persons experiences; identifying with and experiencing another person's emotions, thoughts and attitudes
Empathy Costs of Not Helping Piliavin's view that failing to help can cause distress to a bystander who empathises with a victim's plight
Fear of Social Blunders The dread of acting inappropriately or of making a foolish mistake witnessed by others. The desire to avoid ridicule inhibits effect responses to an emergency by members of a group
Helping Behaviour Acts that intentionally benefit someone else
Just-World Hypothesis According to Lerner, people need to believe that the world is a just place where they get what they deserve. As evidence of undeserved suffering undermines this belief, people may conclude that victims deserve their fate
Learning by Vicarious Experience Acquiring a behaviour after observing that another person was rewarded for it
Nature-Nurture Controversy Classic debate about whether genetic or environmental factors determine human behaviour. Scientists generally accept that it is an interaction of both
Personal Costs of Not Helping Piliavin's view that not helping a victim in distress can be costly to a bystander (e.g. experiencing blame)
Prior Commitment An individual's agreement in advance to be responsible if trouble occurs
Prosocial Behaviour Acts that are positively valued by society
Social Learning Theory The view championed by Bandura that human social behaviour is not innate but learned from appropriate models
Social Responsibility Norm The idea that we should help people who are depending and in need. It is contradicted by another norm that discourages interfering in other people's lives
Social Support Network People who know and care about us and who can provide backup during a time of stress
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