Posted: June 11th, 2022

Sanghavi assign 3PSY 355 DRQ

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A family member says that humans are exceptional because, unlike other animals, we can be kind, selfless, and virtuous. Would you agree with that statement? Or do you think that our selflessness is actually driven by some degree of self-interest? For this discussion, you will explore the concept of prosocial behavior, with a focus on empathy, morality, and altruism.
First, title your post “Prosocial Behavior.”
For your initial post, review the videos
Aggression vs. Altruism: Crash Course Psychology #40
,
Why Some People Are More Altruistic Than Others
, and
How Is Our Moral Psychology Manipulating Us
. Then answer the following questions:
· Is our ability to empathize with others a product of nature or nurture? How does our worldview shape our capacity for empathy?
· In what ways is our moral compass influenced by the social and cultural perspectives that guide our behavior?
· In what ways is our moral compass influenced by spiritual perspectives that guide our behavior?
· Some people believe that humans are exceptional because of our capacity for prosocial behavior, such as kindness and altruism. By contrast, others believe that all behavior is motivated by some degree of self-interest; therefore, humans are not capable of engaging in selfless acts. Do you believe that humans are capable of altruism? Use credible evidence to support your position.
· How does the concept of prosocial behavior apply to any of the following programmatic course themes:
· Self-care
· Social justice
· Emotional intelligence
· Career connections
· Ethics
Prosocial Behaviour.
Human beings have a caring nature. When people make extreme sacrifices for others, they show absolutely nothing abnormal about their actions. Jonathan Haidt explains that we are naturally moral species enclosed in some set that appear completely convincing to us. They influence your judgments of others positively or negatively, depending on how you allow them.
If you are a judgmental person, your cultural beliefs direct your social behavior in that you will interpret everyone’s behavior using the lens through which you see things. Through the reading of spiritual materials, your worldview is shaped to standardized levels. Standard expectations ration those extreme beliefs you hold. You are exposed to forgiveness, kindness, mercy, and other philanthropic values.
Having altruistic behavior is possible. The notion that humanity is naturally selfish has been challenged by tangible evidence over time. Abigail Marsh, in her lecture, gives us an open scenario of how she encountered a generous stranger. While driving alone at night, she had an accident where a dog disrupted her. The vehicle swayed into a fast traffic lane facing backward, and the engine stopped. A stranger ran across four lanes and rescued her. After getting the vehicle on track, the stranger left, and they never met again.
At times, we care to help others based on self-interest. Believing that someone will return a favor may lure us to ultraistic responses. It conflicts with social justice because there arises conflict or a social trap when everyone acts in self-interest. Emotional intelligence calls for one to embrace forgiveness, compassion, and mercy. Embracing communal goals empowers career thriving, and cooperation promotes ethics in communal setups. There is a need to overcome hatred and personal differences to create room for ethics to guide us.
References
Abigael Marsh. (2016, October 7)Why some people are more altruistic than others [YouTube]. https://youtu.be/uq-6T6TAu74
Crash Course Psychology. ( 2014, November 25) Aggression vs. Altruism [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/XoTx7Rt4dig
Jonathan Haidt – Morality in Sjw. (2019, October21) How Our Moral Psychology Manipulates Us? | London Real [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/5vGmhw1h1qg
Remember to respond to two peers while being respectful of and sensitive to their viewpoints. Consider advancing the discussion in the following ways:
· Post an article, video, or visual related to empathy, morality, or altruism to reinforce a peer’s idea or challenge them to see their point from a different perspective.
· Paraphrase something from the original post. Then consider asking a question or sharing your personal experience.
To complete this assignment, review the
Psychology Undergraduate Discussion Rubric
. You will also need:
·
Programmatic Themes PDF
·
Norms of Practice for Online Discussion PDF
·
Ethical Usage Practices PDF
PEER 1- SW
· Is our ability to empathize with others a product of nature or nurture? How does our worldview shape our capacity for empathy?
I think that our ability to empathize with others is a product of nature. I feel like we’re all caring but some of us are just naturally more compassionate and empathetic than others. Abigail Marsh expressed how people that donate their kidneys to a complete stranger have said that they do it because it’s not about them (Marsh, 2016). Not everyone is willing to donate a kidney but those that do are seen as more caring than others, I guess.
· In what ways is our moral compass influenced by the social and cultural perspectives that guide our behavior?
Our moral compass is influenced by the social and cultural perspectives that guide our behavior because we are easily manipulated by others (Haidt, 2019). Jonathan Haidt explained how when we judge we are basing that judgement off of our social and cultural perspectives. Most of the time when we judge something, it’s based on assumptions and not knowing the real thing and I think that that is also an influence of our social and cultural perspective.
· In what ways is our moral compass influenced by spiritual perspectives that guide our behavior?
Our moral compass in influenced by spiritual perspectives that guide our behavior in a couple ways. I think first your behavior comes down to whether you believe there is a god or not. I think second that it also depends on what religion you are. Depending on your spirituality, your behavior will be different than someone who doesn’t believe in god.
· Some people believe that humans are exceptional because of our capacity for prosocial behavior, such as kindness and altruism. By contrast, others believe that all behavior is motivated by some degree of self-interest; therefore, humans are not capable of engaging in selfless acts. Do you believe that humans are capable of altruism? Use credible evidence to support your position.
I do believe that humans can be capable of altruism. For example, in the video with Abigail Marsh she started the video by sharing about how she was in a car accident and a man jumped across highway traffic and saved her life (Marsh, 2016). I think that’s a perfect example of someone being altruistic. Not everyone would be willing to sacrifice their own lives for someone else, let alone someone they don’t know, but you see in the news of this kind of thing happening often.
· How does the concept of prosocial behavior apply to any of the following programmatic course themes:
· Self-care
· Social justice
· Emotional intelligence
· Career connections
· Ethics
I think that the topic of prosocial applies to the programmatic theme of emotional intelligence. EI is when you’re aware of you others emotions and behaviors as well as your own emotions and behaviors and the effect they have on others. Some people are prosocial for their own self-interest and what they can get out of that behavior. Some people are genuinely prosocial and behave that way because of others and what kindness can do for someone. I think that being able to be prosocial and know that you could be brightening someone on a dark day or just that kindness can go a long way, is why emotional intelligence applies to this topic.
References
Haidt, J. (2019)How Our Moral Psychology Manipulates Us? | London Real[Video]. YouTube.

Marsh, A. (2016)Why some people are more altruistic than others[YouTube].

PEER 2-EP
Hi Class!
I am fascinated with the amygdala and so this topic of prosocial behavior, and the role of the amygdala in that, was so interesting to me. I have been studying the workings of the amygdala for the past year in my quest to understand Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD) which is an unofficial (according to the DSM-IV) component of ADHD. Anyway, just thought I’d share that before continuing with the actual topic of prosocial behavior.
With an amygdala that is over or underdeveloped, our ability to empathize with others is affected. Those whose amygdala is oversized have a high level of selflessness and compassion. However, those whose amygdala is small, lack empathy and compassion. This describes compassion as being a product of nature.
Regardless of our nature though, our worldview may be less judgmental than our view of our immediate environment or own culture. However, to truly remove judgement of others we need to understand that while we are locked in our own “moral matrix” (Haidt, J., 2019, 2:33), others within our society are also locked in their own moral matrix, and to judge is to see only from our own perspective and experiences. It’s a bit of tunnel vision in a sense.
However, group mentality has a strong effect on our moral compass. When we are part of a social group, we are more likely to exhibit the behaviors of the group regardless of what we believe about our own morality. For example, the camper at Robert’s Cave had a group mentality when they were part of separate groups. Yet once they were made to work together, their focused shifted to that of the whole group.
While we our subconsciously influenced by our social group, our moral compass can be influenced by our spiritual upbringing. For example, in the Ten Commandments it is stated “Thou Shall Not Steal”. In response to that, we know that stealing is immoral. Spirituality can teach us to “be a little less judgmental, read Buddha, read Bhagavad-gita…” (Haidt, J., 2019, 3:26) for ways to learn to be more spiritual and moral.
I do believe that humans are capable of altruism. As mentioned above, it has been proven that the amygdala is a key factor in the level of a person’s empathy and selflessness. Recent “brain imaging research of psychopathic adolescents …and findings of other researchers now, pretty reliably exhibit three characteristics” (Marsh, A., 2016, 4:31):
· Insensitivity to other’s emotions
· Insensitive to signs of other’s distress
· Difficulty recognizing fearful facial expressions
On the high ranges of amygdala size and functioning is where we find the more altruistic people.
Prosocial behavior applies to emotional intelligence. The amygdala is the emotional center of our brain. With a large amygdala we feel our emotions deeper than those with a small amygdala, as well as the feelings of others which is how we are more empathetic and will display prosocial behavior.
“An amygdala is a small, almond-shaped group of neurons. One amygdala is located in each temporal lobe of the brain. The amygdalae are part of the limbic system, which is responsible for regulating numerous emotional responses including fear, anger, pleasure, hunger, and sexual reproduction. Malfunctioning or damaged amygdalae may also be responsible for numerous mental illnesses. Researchers suspect that a malformed, enlarged, or hyper-functioning amygdala may be responsible for numerous anxiety-related disorders” (Biscontini, T., 2020).
References
Biscontini, T. (2020). Amygdala. Salem Press Encyclopedia of Health.
Crash Course. (2014 November 24).Aggression vs. Altruism.Crash Course Psychology #40. [YouTube Video].

Haidt, J. (2019 October 21).Morality in SJW: How Is Our Moral Psychology Manipulating Us?London Real. [YouTube Video].

Marsh, A. (2016 October 7)Why some people are more altruistic than others.Ted Talk. [YouTube Video]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq-6T6TAu74

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