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The Roman Empire The Roman Empire / Римская империя The Roman Empire had a huge task in front of them while it was first starting out and while it was becoming a dominant dynasty in the early civilizations. The main problem that the book "Discovering the Global Past" points out is how the Roman Empire found itself growing a little too quickly. The Roman Empire started out very small...

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U.S. Financial System U.S. Financial System / Финансовая система США Corporations have the need to raise capital for a number of reasons. Smaller firms need capital to start up operations. Larger firms need capital to expand operations and to finance inventory. There are various ways in which a firm can raise capital through the financial system and numerous individuals and entities...

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Microburst Microburst / Микропорыв There are many safety factors that pilots have to take into consideration while completing a safe flight. Everything has to be taken into mind when planning a flight. From weight and balance to preflight inspections. One safety factor that is impossible to have control over is weather. There are many aspects of weather that can affect an aircraft,...

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Romanian Orphanages Romanian Orphanages / Румынские сироты Imagine a hospital that, at one time ran smoothly helping the public, now with the primary objection of taking care of the thousands of abandoned infants and children. This is the reality in Romania when Nicolae Ceausescu was in power. In 1966 he created an Anti-Abortion/Contraception law in order to raise the population and...

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Introducing Christian Ethics Introducing Christian Ethics / Введение в христианскую этику The book that I have chosen to do my book review on is Introducing Christian Ethics, written by Henlee H. Barnette. This book deals with many Christian ethical decisions based on biblical foundations that are applied to various major problems. Some of the major problems pertain to the self,...

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Altruism

Топик на английском по теме: Psychology / Психология

Altruism

Altruism / Альтруизм

The topic I chose for my third writing assignment is altruism. I am familiar with the idea of altruism but have never considered the validity of it. Altruism by definition is a motive to increase another’s welfare without conscious regard for one’s self-interests. This is obviously very difficult to accomplish. The last self-less act I did was stopping to help and elderly women up some stairs at the mall. As I was escorting her up the stairs all I was concerned with was making sure she made it without hurting herself. Initially it appears that this act was motivated solely for the well-being of the elderly lady. But as demonstrated in class discussion there can always be an ulterior motive even if that motive is subconscious.

The social-exchange theory states that interactions are guided by a social economics idea. This theory describes how we exchange not only material goods and money but also social goods. For example we exchange love, services, information and status. As with economics we aim to minimize the input and maximize the rewards. The social exchange theory would state that people do these good deeds for the reward of feeling good about yourself, although the act itself may seem self-less. The helping we give can be disguised in two ways. Either externally or internally. For example when I gave the women help up the stairs, it was external because I sought appreciation. An example of internally disguised helping would be responding with empathy to someone who is distressed. The altruistic acts serve to increase our sense of self worth. The example given in our text describes nearly all blood donors report feeling good about giving blood after they do. A few researchers have attempted to define six motivations for why people volunteer to befriend AIDS patients. They include values, understanding, social, career, ego protection, and esteem enhancement (Clary & Snyder, 1993, 1995; Clary & others.) This cost benefit analysis does seem to belittle the overall intentions of good deeds. When you consider it further it can be said that this in fact speaks volumes about humanity. Humans innately derive pleasure from helping others.

The internal explanation for our behaviors regarding altruism is that of empathy. Empathy seems to insinuate a purely emotional response to the misfortune of others. But what is theorized is that we do not like the feeling of distress brought on by the suffering of others. To alleviate that distress we attempt to help the person. The feeling of empathy is found to be strongly correlated with how well we know the person.

I think altruism is an important concept to consider because it defines peoples basic desire to contribute to society. It doesn’t contend that you are wealthy or famous to have a positive impact on the lives of others but rather the profound effect a simple act of kindness can have. Although it is pretty apparent from the research that no selfless behavior is truly selfless, that behavior still can help others in need. I think the outcome of our actions can in some instances outweigh the motives behind it.



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