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Altruism and Prosocial Behavior

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Hi, I need help to answer these questions.

Examine the concept of altruism and altruistic behavior.

What does it mean for someone to behave altruistically?

What is gained from this action, and how does it differ from egoistic behavior?

What are some reasons why people would want to help one another, without regard for personal gain or benefit?
In addition, explain the bystander effect. If we all have a genuine desire to help one another, why is the effect so common?

How can we prevent it from occurring?

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Solution Summary

The expert examines the concepts of altruism and altruistic behavior. What it means for someone to behave altruistically is determined.

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It is my pleasure to assist you today with some notes about altruistic and egoistic behavior. By way of introduction, my name is Jason Blair and I am a Professor in Arizona.

Your first question asks about what it means for some to behave altruistically. Simply put, the concept of altruism involves the total denial of self and the total devotion to the welfare to another individual, group of people, or society in general. We talk about people demonstrating altruistic behavior, but it is actually quite difficult to achieve. Some examples at the extreme, however, would be a father who doesn't know how to swim rushing into a raging river to save his son. He has totally denied himself (the fact the he can't swim) and focused solely on his son (who is in grave danger). Another example could be seen in lifestyle decisions, such as ...

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  • BA, Arizona State University
  • MA, University of Phoenix
  • PhD (IP), North Central University
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