- Human relationships are the bonds that exist between and among people which may be biological, normal friendships, or romantic bonds. These bonds are characterized by an origin, changes, and in some cases, an end.
- Pro-social behavior is the state of feeling indebted to help someone in need, whether for personal gratification or for the genuine benefit of the one in need. Some examples of this behavior are: helping someone in danger, helping a mother with some luggage, and making donations to charity.
- Not all actions are egoistic since the helper can get into the distress of the person in need and offer genuine assistance. Besides, there can be actions that are purely altruistic (Batson, 1991), for instance, helping a blind man cross the road when lights show so.
- (a) The woman showed egoistic behavior since the man though seemingly lost, had a map
(b) The two students exhibited altruistic behavior since their ultimate goal was to get the books to the teacher. They could have stolen them as well since the teacher was seemingly not aware of the books falling.
(c) The player who knocked the opponent showed altruism since he intended to lift the opponent so that the game can continue smoothly.
(d) The classmates were egoistic since they wanted to be perceived as compassionate while the news of the accident was not only available to them. Thus, other well-wishers could have offered to help.
- According to Daniel Batson, the perception of need is triggered when someone notices that another person is not living in the condition or state they should ideally be. He argues that someone may not be willing to help others since he/she may not have noticed the people at all or maybe the person saw the people but did not perceive them as having any need. The two egoistic pathways for assistance include the perception of a reward for helping such as public recognition, and helping so that the situation cannot make them stressed, but not for the benefit of the one in need.
- Batson and Toi’s experiment involved a fictional and lame character called Carol. The participants in the research, who were female psychology students, were subjected to information from interview and Carol’s feelings. Results showed that those who concentrated more on her feelings were likely to offer her academic assistance. This meant that empathy is likely to affect
- The limitations of studies that manipulate empathy are likely to cause the unnecessary need for help. Furthermore, they are not morally acceptable since the unrealistic call for assistance is perceived as a social evil.
- The limitations for Batson and Toi’s experiments were overcome by replacing empathy manipulation with self-report. The impact on the results was that volunteering decision was influenced by the level of empathy.
- Sociobiologists believe that altruism is particularly true regarding human evolution and the struggle for survival. Nevertheless, the weaknesses in this proposition are the failure to explain how one benefits by risking for the sake of others. Secondly, non-human animals do not seem to follow generally this theory.
- Kin selection is the concept of strongly supporting family members in times of need as compared to strangers. It is important in that even if one member of the family dies in the course of protecting the rest, the genes of the deceased will be carried down to the descendants. According to Sime (1983), in the event of an emergency, those genetically related will tend to remain together as a group as compared to those who are not related.
- (a) The Empathy-Altruism hypothesis is based on cognitive and cross-cultural factors while the kin selection theory is purely based on the biological relationships between and among individuals.
(b) Both theories are based on the evidence gained from experimenting with different participants.
(c) Both theories conclude that altruism does exist and that biological ties cause it for kin selection theory while for the Empathy-Altruism proposition, cognitive factors cause it.
(d) Predominantly, kin selection is universally observed, while empathy-altruism varies depending on the culture and gender.
- Simpatia means the harmonious relationships that exist among related and unrelated people.
- Levine et al. (2001) conducted an experiment to measure collectivism and individualism in the urban community. They found that stronger economies had people who were less likely to help. Also, higher Simpatia countries exhibited more likelihood of offering help. The three situations that were considered were that of a blind man crossing the road, a pedestrian unknowingly dropping a pen, and a pedestrian with leg braces dropping magazines.
- Children within individualistic culture were more likely to share household chores while the kindness in this culture remains a reserve of family members only. Collectivists were also noted to be less helpful to strangers.
- Both collectivists and individualistic cultures have a selective response to strangers in need. In addition, the rich are more likely to help their fellow rich people, while the poor community helps their own more than their counterparts do.
- Other factors affecting altruism include the number of times of meeting needful people and the encouragement to compete for the scarce resources.
- Bystander intervention is when a person decides not to respond to another person in need despite having the capacity and conviction to do so. Research into this reaction was motivated by the murder of Kitty Genovese in 1964 through stabbing, and despite calling for help, 38 witnesses failed to help the victim.
- Diffusion responsibility is where a person fails to react because others are not showing concern as well. Audience inhibition is where a person fails to respond to a distress call for the fear of being perceived as overreacting to a situation. Social influence is where the more the people are in a group; the less likely they will respond to an emergency.
- Latane and Darlye (1969) conducted an experiment in which some male participants were given a questionnaire to fill and left in a room. Once the lady issuing the questionnaire moved out of the room, there was a loud bang. The results indicated that when people are alone, they are more likely to help unlike when they are two or more, where levels of response reduce as the number of people increases.
- Piliavin et al. (1981) state that once we perceive that another person needs our help, there is a psychological motivation to attend to their situations so that things will be back to normalcy. Arousal and ambiguity are linked in that when we are certain of the danger, we are certain to react, but if the perception of danger or need is unclear; there is inherent hesitation to react to the situation.
- The cost-reward model evaluates the consequences of intervening. While rewards cannot be directly identified, the costs of intervening may include aspects of time and money. The costs of not intervening include guilt and criticism.
Human relationships II
- The subways study involved four four-member teams to see how willing people between the train stations were willing to help. One of the acting victims who needed help was drunk while the other appeared old with an old cane. Upon a situation for help, the researchers noted that help was accorded depending on race, health, and gender. Additionally, it was noted that diffusion of responsibility was absent in the case of ‘old man with a cane.’
- Suedfeld et (1972) determined that similarity rule is vital in affecting the willingness to help.
- Levine et al. (2005) determined that a person was more likely to be helped when in need if the ones helping can socially identify with the victim.
- With regard to assistance and gender, females were more likely to be helped while, on the contrary, they were less likely to help.
- Przybyla (1985) determined that males who had watched an erotic film were more likely to help a female confederate compared to the female counterparts. However, this reaction was attributed to psychological arousal.
- Those likely to intervene in the prevention of a criminal act are likely to have a strong physique, have military or medical training, and have the self-belief of principle and aggression.
- According to Buss (1994), the key component to female mate selection is the control over economic resources within the surrounding of the male.
- The four characteristics required for male mate selection in the United States are social status, intelligence, dependability, and age, that is, must be older than the female.
- Men are interested in younger women since they are perceived to be more productive, reproductive, sensitive to body shape, and general hygiene.
- On the first marriage, men are generally three years older than their spouses are. On the second marriage, the average age gap is about 5 years while, in the third marriage, the gap widens further to about 8 years.
- The absence of facial scars, lustrous hair, symmetric body, filled lips, and smooth skin are the universal characteristics for women needed by men.
- The hypothalamus part of the brain is responsible for psychological arousal.
- Attraction to homosexual men and women emanate from the health and age factors like in the heterosexual individuals, but with less regard to physical attributes.
- The research found that difference in the genes of the men and the women, and attractiveness ratings were directly proportional.
- Proximity means that people who live geographically close are more likely to have mutual attraction. Familiarity means that people who meet more often regardless of their residence or those who are more seen in graphics are more likely to have an attraction.
- Reward theory is a concept that postulates that people often stick together if there exist some benefits feeling of higher status for one or both parties involved.
- Dindia and Canary (1993) identified the following types of relationship maintenance:
- Continuing a relationship, that is, getting to know more of each other
- Maintaining a given state, that is, not advancing the relationship beyond some set limits
- Keeping the relationship in a satisfactory state, that is, maintaining the balance of mutual benefit
- Preventing or correcting relationship problems, that is, helping each other to be better despite making mistakes.
- The Canary and Stafford (1994) maintenance strategies are:
- Being positive – always being cheerful and responding in time.
- Openness – Talking about your history with the partner to better understand you
- Offering assurances – making the partner know that everything will be alright
- Social networking – having a group of friends to talk to and have fun together
- Sharing tasks – having the sense of shared responsibility in the relationship
- The types of marital types by Weigel and Ballard-Reisch (1999) include traditional, independent, and separated.
- The word ‘sorry’ has different meanings to men and women. To the latter, it expresses empathy while to the former; it is a word of apology. The difference between male and female communication is that males need their personal problems to be felt like the most important, therefore, create competition during same-sex conversations. For females, the take turns to explain their situations without interruption.