Altruism Project Paper

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Psychology

Document 1

Further, the kindness expressed through altruism creates an open environment where each individual feels accepted and comfortable. Most importantly, the honesty that emerges from altruistic behavior paves way for strong relationships and bonds with each other (Erb, 2016). The paper seeks to tackle an experiment where altruism is tested among three sets of strangers and three sets of friends, so as to highlight the difference between the behaviors exhibited by the two groups. The paper will also address the different expectations of the behavior of strangers versus the expectations of behavior for friends in helping situations to support the idea that levels of altruism differ with regards to people who know each other, such as close friends because of the bond that they have with one another, in comparison to the levels of altruism that is exhibited by strangers.

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Method Participants The participants that were utilized were 3 sets of strangers at the train station and 3 different sets of my close friends. The first exercise was at Starbucks, and I intentionally dropped my purse as we looked on to the board to pick out what we wanted to get. The second exercise was in the changing room where I acted as though I was looking for something before trying out the clothes. I placed my purse somewhere we would all see, then proceeded to try out the clothes as the girls looked on. As we were leaving I intentionally walked away as though I had forgotten it. For this exercise, the questions that I needed answered are as followed. Additionally, research highlights that altruism is more present to people who are attractive rather than those who are unattractive.

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Finally, research holds that altruism is more evident to non-competitors than to competitors (Epps,2012). However, altruism also occurs in some strangers based on the concept or assumption of reciprocal altruism which holds that helping others increases one's chances of survival, in that helping total stranger now may lead to other people helping them in the future as well (Trivers, 1971). Findings My Expectations Before I embarked on the experiment, I expected to find that my friends would be more helpful to me because we know each other on a personal level. With this, I expected that they would be helpful in terms of helping me pick up or collect my purse, and offer kind words. Meanwhile, I had noticed that an elderly lady in her 60s had made attempts to walk towards me, but stopped when she realized that the male stranger had gotten everything under control.

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However, she stood there smiling until the gentleman got to me. Finally, I repeated the exercise one more time at the train station back home. It was amazing to see how a group of approximately 10-15 people looked on without uttering a word or offering their assistance. For the friends’ condition, I noticed that both Debby and Caroline said “sorry” and tried to bend over to pick up my purse for me at Starbucks. I chose Gloria, Abby and Michelle for the exercise. During this exercise, Abby picked the purse and asked me “is this yours or did you find it here?” As I was checking through my bag, Michelle said “I hope it is because if it isn’t yours the real owner may be really looking for it.

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