EFFECT OF GENDER AND LOCALITY OF ALTRUISTIC BEHAVIOUR AMONG ADULTS

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

          Altruism is a voluntary help fullness that is motivated by concern about the responsibility of personal reward (MidlarskyKahana 1944).

          Altruism as a prosocial behavior is voluntary action that benefits another person. Prosocial behavior can include; comforting, helping, rescuing sharing, and co-operating, (Elsenberg 1992). In general, prosocial children have parents who are nuturant and supportive, often providing a model of prosocial behavior Zahn and Smith (1992). For instance individual who were active in the civil right movement during the 1950’s and 1960’s were likely to have parents who had vigorously worked for social cases in previous decades (Elsenberg 1992). Batson (1995) aggress that altruism is often selfishly motivated. However, people are sometimes purely altruistic and not the least but selfish. Batson (1995) proposes that we often help other people because we experience empathy, which means that we feel the same pain, suffering, or other emotion that someone else feels for example, you may feel empathy for a friend who did not get the job he hoped for.

          For altruism, the degree of familiarity is crucial—and agents act most of the time in a self-interested manner only because they are familiar mostly with their own original sensations than with the original sensations of others. Obviously, there is a stronger motive to help a stranded person if the person happens to be a close acquaintance rather than, ceteris paribus, a distant associate. And man is more motivated to help, after himself, the ones who live in the same house with him than “the greater part of other people”.

          After himself, the members of his own family, those who usually live in the same house with him, his parents, his children, his brothers and sisters, are naturally the objects of his warmest affections. They are naturally and usually the persons upon whose happiness or misery his conduct must have the greatest influence. He is more habituated to sympathize with them. He knows better how every thing is likely to affect them, and his sympathy with them is more precise and determinate, than it can be with the greater part of other people. It approaches nearer, in short, to what he feels for himself (Smith (1976) p. 219).
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EFFECT OF GENDER AND LOCALITY OF ALTRUISTIC BEHAVIOUR AMONG ADULTS