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Definition of Altruism

In: Social Issues

Submitted By chilaz77
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THE EVENTS OF SEPT 11 2011 (THE HIJACKING OF THE 4 JETS AND THE ATTACKS ON THE WORLD TRADE CENTRE AND PENTAGON IN US) HAVE RAISED NUMEROUS QUESTIONS IN VARIETY OF DIFFERENT TOPICS. DOES SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY HAVE AN ANSWER FOR ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS?

THERE WAS A LARGE INCREASE IN VOLUNTEERING AFTER SEPT 11thIN US. WHY DID SO MANY PEOPLE VOLUNTEER AFTER SEPT 11?

The events of September 11th 2001 changed people’s behaviour in different ways. People’s attitude to volunteering changed in such a way that social psychologists could attribute part of that change to altruistic behaviour. Volunteering and altruism shares common connection as such some volunteering work can be seen as altruistic though not every part of altruism can be said to mean volunteering. Volunteering is just one part of the different parts of altruism. Within this understanding it is possible to say the two concepts are strongly related and connected as well. This essay will try to explore the concept of volunteering in relation to altruism and to show that the large number of people that volunteered after September 11th had their altruistic tendency invoked.

Altruism from social psychologists point of view is a prosocial behaviour that has been defined as “a motive to increase the welfare or wellbeing of another person without conscious regard for one’s own self-interests (David Myers, 2010). It is a norm or an act that is highly valued and cherished by individuals and society alike. According to Wispe, (1972) as cited by (Michael A. Hogg, 2008) it is a positive attitude that contributes to the physical and psychological well-being of another person. It is a different type of helping behaviour in which the motive of “intentions and benefits” to the person rendering it matters (Dovidio, et al, 2006, p. 25). Altruism is a special way of helping, it is somewhat different from...

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