ERIC Number: ED035035
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Determinants of Altruism: Observations for A Theory of Altruistic Development.
Some observations on the nature of altruistic behavior and the consequences of these observations for a theoretical and experimental psychology of altruism are discussed. Altruistic behaviors are very pervasive since they satisfy a wide array of egotistical motivations in addition to having an autonomy of their own. Because of their ability to meet numerous human needs altruistic behaviors are difficult to interpret but it is suggested that normative altruism, which arises from maximizations of personal gain, and autonomous altruism, which is done for its own sake, may not be as separate as they appear and may develop from the same constellation of capacities. A theory of altruistic development is outlined which states that the first stage, normative altruism, is dominated by the dynamics of reward and punishment and this is characteristic of young children. Once children surrender egocentricity they become capable of an intermediate level called affective altruism and this involves experiencing the needs of others as your own, an alteration from egocentrism to allocentrism and the presence of empathy and sympathy. The final level of altruistic commitment requires the elements which characterize earlier stages plus prosocial affective learning. (RM)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: Swarthmore Coll., PA.; American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.
Note: Paper presented at the American Psychological Association Convention, Washington, D.C., August 31--September 4, 1969