Differences Between Kin Selection Theory and Empathy-Altruism Theory

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Note by jemima, updated more than 1 year ago
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Created by jemima about 8 years ago
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International Baccalaureate Psychology Note on Differences Between Kin Selection Theory and Empathy-Altruism Theory, created by jemima on 05/06/2013.

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Contrasting Kin Selection Theory and Empathy-Altruism Theory Kin selection - focuses on genes, operating on the biological level.  In empathy-altruism, the focus is on the human emotion, empathy. Kin selection - altruism is seen as behaviour with a cost to the individual. In empathy-altruism, altruism is seen as behaviour that increases another's welfare. Kin selection - based on egoism. In empathy-altruism, humans can be altruistic, but can also be egoistic. Kin selection - can explain the observations, but not why. It cannot explain why people behave altruistically to people they're not related to. In empathy-altruism, it can explain why people react altruistically, but not why some people don't.  Kin selection - it is difficult to test evolutionary theories, but it's possible to get empirical support. In empathy-altruism, it is relatively easy to test, but difficult to operationalise something like empathy. 

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