Altruism And Social Intelligence

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I take this opportunity to express my profound and deep regards to thank Head of Department of school of humanities and arts Dr. Ruchi sharma for her exemplary guidance, monitoring and constant encouragement throughout the course of this study

I also take this opportunity to express a deep sense of gratitude to my professor Mrs. Urvashi Shrivastava, for her cordial support, valuable information and guidance, which helped me in completing this task through various stages

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Lastly, I thank almighty, my parents, friends and all those who have helped me for their constant encouragement without which this assignment would not be possible.

The word altruism means a pure form of helping others without any concern. It is seen as a form of prosocial behavior. It was first introduced by Auguste Comte. . Though some believe that humans are fundamentally self-interested, recent research suggests otherwise: Studies have found that people’s first impulse is to cooperate rather than compete; that toddlers spontaneously help people in need out of a genuine concern for their welfare; and that even non primates display altruism.

Evolutionary scientists speculate that altruism has such deep roots in human nature because helping and cooperation promotes the survival of our species. Indeed, Darwin himself argued that altruism, which he called “sympathy” or “benevolence,” is “an essential part of the social instincts.” Darwin’s claim is supported by recent neuroscience studies, which have shown that when people behave altruistically, their brains activate in regions that signal pleasure and reward, similar to when they eat chocolate (or have sex).

This does not mean that humans are more altruistic than selfish; instead, evidence suggests we have deeply ingrained tendencies to act in either direction. Our challenge lies in finding ways to evoke the better angels of our nature.

  • Unselfish behavior and attitude towards the welfare of others.
  • Intentional behaviors that benefit another person
  • Behavior which have no obvious gain for the provider
  • Behavior which have obvious costs for the provider (e.g. time, resources)
  • Is there really altruism? Altruism is often for self-benefit e.g., power, status, reward, psychological gain.
  • What matters in judging the act is the actor’s indented outcomes.

To understand ‘Why People are Altruistic.’ We must learn ‘Where did it comes from?’ and “What does it mean?’ Altruistic or altruism is a concept in psychology and philosophy developed from a French Philosopher Augusta Comte. Comte laid claim to the French word altruism, basing it on atrium meaning other person. Altruism means any behavior that is kind, generous and helpful to others. People are not likely to read about altruism in a newspaper, but they take place with great occurrence. People go to considerable trouble to help a sick neighbor, take in a family left homeless by a fire, and serve as volunteer firemen and hospital attendants.

Altruism is an innate trait that has been passed along through the process of evolution. In addition, people have always had a better chance of survival when living with other individuals than when trying to make it alone. It seems likely that those who were willing to cooperate with others had a chance of surviving and passing along their characteristics to future generation. It is believed that not only altruism lies in heredity but in learning. There are wide individual differences in tendencies toward altruism. The people most likely to be altruistic are those who have learned to experience empathy– the ability to feel the mental and emotional state of another person as if they were one’s own. Having altruistic parents or other models to imitate and identify with also plays a part. Whether altruism is or is not a basic and innate human trait, there seems to be a little doubt that it can at least be encouraged or discouraged by learning and by social influence.


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