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altruism hypothesis

What is the altruism hypothesis? Do you agree or disagree with the hypothesis? Why?

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Should people help others because a social norm says it is the right thing to do? Or should people help others because of pure empathic reasons? Or do people help (or not help) due to legal concerns? Batson (2002) believes that the reason others offer help is a modified form of altruism (Kassin, Fein and Markus, p. 354). True altruism, as listed by Kassin, Fein and Markus (p. 354), is defined as "any helpful action in the absence of a clear external reward." Batson's "hybrid altruism" idea states that the reason people help others is to increase the welfare of others (Kassin, Fein and Markus, p. 354). Batson developed an idea about why people help others. It is called the empathy-altruism hypothesis. The tenet for the hypothesis is as such: "The proposition that empathic concern for a person in need produces an ...

Solution Summary

The altruism theory is debated. References are also listed to promote research.