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Social Behaviour - Assignment Example

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Social Behaviour

Another prosocial idea is that persons behave according to the theory of reciprocal altruism, in which persons help others in the expectation of receiving something in return. Persons might also help others when faced with guilt or the need to repay a good deed that was previously done to them. This is known as guilt or reparative altruism (Wetering).
On the other hand, situations exist in which persons might not be inclined to help. Situations of moralistic aggression may arise, in which people feel that others are taking advantage of their altruistic tendencies, and in such cases they might not be inclined to help. Such is often the case in larger cities where cheaters are apt to exist. Subtle cheating and mimicry abound, through which people might pretend to be in distress in order to elicit altruistic behaviour. Such situations are likely to cause moralistic aggression to arise in persons as a protective mechanism (Wetering).
The social setting also determines the type of behaviour one can expect from a person. According to the Darley and Latan study done in 1968, a person is more likely to help another if he or she is the only available helper in the situation. This theory is akin to others concerning crowds. Areas that are crowded or busy tend to contain people who are less likely to help in a dire situation. This might be due to their being in a hurry or it might hinge on the idea that crowds or busier areas are more likely to contain opportunistic persons. In such cases patterns might also obtain so that despite such variables as cultural or societal norms, in a crowd, the bystander effect occurs as a result of the diffusion of responsibility.
As an experiment in social behaviour, a group of colleagues conducted a study on altruism outside of a shopping mall. The person used as the stimulus performed the role by asking for directions to a prominent place in the area-the UEL. Subjects were randomly selected and distributed in a random-number table. Possible observed responses to the stimulus were anticipated and headings created for each. The categories included those who ignored the stimulus, those who looked, gave no information, those who helped, and the subjects' expressions during the experiment. The frequency of different responses was recorded in these tables. Other aspects of the situation that were recorded for future analysis were the conditions of the experiment. This included the dispersal of the crowd at the mall-whether the place was crowded or not. Experiments were performed under both conditions and data separated accordingly.
Similar experiments were carried out by members of other teams in a seminar group, and upon completion of these experiments, the results were pooled in a collective table in order to facilitate the analysis of trends and to increase the validity and reliability of the data. Data was correlated with regard to the variables mentioned previously.

For the team, the experiment produced results such that during a crowded condition (represented by an approximate number of 60 persons) the experimenter-stimulator was ...Show more


The behaviour of people in social groups differs for reasons almost as variable as the number of people in the group. There have, however, been some salient similarities found among groups and these have been reported by psychological researchers. Some, like Darley and Baston, have found that a person's likelihood of attracting the help of another in a situation depends on the amount of time available to the person from whom the help is sought, or in other words, how busy he or she might be (Wetering)…
Author : handrubye
Social Behaviour
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