Assignment: Advertisements to Increase Altruistic Behavior Psychology Paper

Assignment: Advertisements to Increase Altruistic Behavior Psychology Paper

Altruism describes behavior motivated by the goal of increasing someone else’s welfare. In contrast, egoism defines acts driven by our self-interest (Batson, Ahmad, & Lishner, 2020).

For example, the motivation behind stopping to help someone with a flat tire:

Egoistic view – the driver stops so that they appear caring in front of their new partner.
Altruistic view – the driver is motivated to stop by their concern for another’s wellbeing.
The underlying motivation defines whether an action is altruistic.

But, isn’t altruistic behavior commonplace? After all, many of us give to charitable appeals, visit relatives in the hospital, or help one another with loss.

Not everyone agrees.

Universal egoism
The theory of universal egoism is commonly held by psychologists, biologists, and economists, partly due to its simplicity and lack of nuance (Batson et al., 2020).

According to this model, the goal or motivation behind each act is self-benefit.

We behave in such a way to feel good about ourselves, receive material rewards, or avoid feeling shame about our actions or inaction.

We help a friend because we do not want to lose the closeness we share with them. If we see them upset, it causes us to feel bad, so we intervene.
We offer someone a ride because at some point we may need their help.
Even a heroic life-saving act, according to universal egoists, is an attempt to escape guilt and be seen in a positive light (Batson et al., 2020).

And yet, believing that every action is motivated by self-interest alone seems cynical and devoid of humanity, and offers a bleak view of the world.

Can we believe that there are no selfless actions?

The altruist is more generous with the motivation they attribute to such acts.

While much of our behavior is underpinned by egoistic motivation, under certain circumstances, help is given with the sole aim of improving or safeguarding the wellbeing of others – this is altruism.

If we assist someone in trouble, we are therefore not motivated by a future, unknowable reward or recognition.

Assignment Advertisements to Increase Altruistic Behavior Psychology Paper

But why would we engage in behavior that favors another over ourselves?

Empathic motivation
Our actions are motivated by our emotional reactions – including empathy and sympathy – to a situation.

In a literal sense, we experience the pain of our friend’s grief, so we offer our time and help. Ongoing brain research has confirmed that mirror neurons help us represent the actions or emotions of the people around us (Rizzolatti & Sinigaglia, 2010).

When we see a starving child on a TV commercial, we feel their distress and that of their family before donating.

Empathic motivation results from a combination of our feelings – tenderness, compassion, and sympathy – and the recipient’s sadness, loneliness, and distress.

We perceive the needs of another or imagine their feelings.

Egoists counter this view by suggesting that we are still motivated by self-interest; we help another to remove or reduce our uncomfortable feelings that result from our empathy.

Collectivism (or group selection)
The collectivist believes that the ultimate goal behind the way we act is to benefit the group, rather than oneself.

Instead of focusing on ourselves or the person we help, we are motivated to improve the wellbeing of the group to which we belong.

It is perhaps best summed up by psychologist Robyn Dawes, it is “not me or thee but we” (Dawes, Kragt, & Orbell, 1988).

However, when framed by egoists, the motivation to benefit the group also promotes self-interest.

Logically, behavior that motivates us to keep the group safe may indirectly (or even directly) harm those outside the group. Principlism, however, avoids this dilemma, suggesting that altruism is motivated by the goal of upholding a principle and is therefore universal and impartial.

However, even behavior motivated by principlism can be seen as egoism if upholding moral principles is for personal gain.

While egoism remains a strong challenge to altruism and is dominant in many social sciences, there are plenty of human and animal examples that appear to counter this stance.

Recent research supports the idea of altruism, finding that people feel happier when they engage in behavior motivated by others’ wellbeing (Aknin, Broesch, Hamlin, & Vondervoort, 2015).

Important information for writing discussion questions and participation

Welcome to class

Hello class and welcome to the class and I will be your instructor for this course. This is a -week course and requires a lot of time commitment, organization, and a high level of dedication. Please use the class syllabus to guide you through all the assignments required for the course. I have also attached the classroom policies to this announcement to know your expectations for this course. Please review this document carefully and ask me any questions if you do. You could email me at any time or send me a message via the “message” icon in halo if you need to contact me. I check my email regularly, so you should get a response within 24 hours. If you have not heard from me within 24 hours and need to contact me urgently, please send a follow up text to

I strongly encourage that you do not wait until the very last minute to complete your assignments. Your assignments in weeks 4 and 5 require early planning as you would need to present a teaching plan and interview a community health provider. I advise you look at the requirements for these assignments at the beginning of the course and plan accordingly. I have posted the YouTube link that explains all the class assignments in detail. It is required that you watch this 32-minute video as the assignments from week 3 through 5 require that you follow the instructions to the letter to succeed. Failure to complete these assignments according to instructions might lead to a zero. After watching the video, please schedule a one-on-one with me to discuss your topic for your project by the second week of class. Use this link to schedule a 15-minute session. Please, call me at the time of your appointment on my number. Please note that I will NOT call you.

Please, be advised I do NOT accept any assignments by email. If you are having technical issues with uploading an assignment, contact the technical department and inform me of the issue. If you have any issues that would prevent you from getting your assignments to me by the deadline, please inform me to request a possible extension. Note that working fulltime or overtime is no excuse for late assignments. There is a 5%-point deduction for every day your assignment is late. This only applies to approved extensions. Late assignments will not be accepted.

If you think you would be needing accommodations due to any reasons, please contact the appropriate department to request accommodations.

Plagiarism is highly prohibited. Please ensure you are citing your sources correctly using APA 7th edition. All assignments including discussion posts should be formatted in APA with the appropriate spacing, font, margin, and indents. Any papers not well formatted would be returned back to you, hence, I advise you review APA formatting style. I have attached a sample paper in APA format and will also post sample discussion responses in subsequent announcements.

Your initial discussion post should be a minimum of 200 words and response posts should be a minimum of 150 words. Be advised that I grade based on quality and not necessarily the number of words you post. A minimum of TWO references should be used for your initial post. For your response post, you do not need references as personal experiences would count as response posts. If you however cite anything from the literature for your response post, it is required that you cite your reference. You should include a minimum of THREE references for papers in this course. Please note that references should be no more than 5 years old except recommended as a resource for the class. Furthermore, for each discussion board question, you need ONE initial substantive response and TWO substantive responses to either your classmates or your instructor for a total of THREE responses. There are TWO discussion questions each week, hence, you need a total minimum of SIX discussion posts for each week. I usually post a discussion question each week. You could also respond to these as it would count towards your required SIX discussion posts for the week.

I understand this is a lot of information to cover in 5 weeks, however, the Bible says in Philippians 4:13 that we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us. Even in times like this, we are encouraged by God’s word that we have that ability in us to succeed with His strength. I pray that each and every one of you receives strength for this course and life generally as we navigate through this pandemic that is shaking our world today. Relax and enjoy the course!

Hi Class,

Please read through the following information on writing a Discussion question response and participation posts.

Contact me if you have any questions.

Important information on Writing a Discussion Question

  • Your response needs to be a minimum of 150 words (not including your list of references)
  • There needs to be at least TWO references with ONE being a peer reviewed professional journal article.
  • Include in-text citations in your response
  • Do not include quotes—instead summarize and paraphrase the information
  • Follow APA-7th edition
  • Points will be deducted if the above is not followed

Participation –replies to your classmates or instructor

  • A minimum of 6 responses per week, on at least 3 days of the week.
  • Each response needs at least ONE reference with citations—best if it is a peer reviewed journal article
  • Each response needs to be at least 75 words in length (does not include your list of references)
  • Responses need to be substantive by bringing information to the discussion or further enhance the discussion. Responses of “I agree” or “great post” does not count for the word count.
  • Follow APA 7th edition
  • Points will be deducted if the above is not followed
  • Remember to use and follow APA-7th edition for all weekly assignments, discussion questions, and participation points.
  • Here are some helpful links
  • The is a great resource



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