While social psychologists are often motivated by simple curiosity to study social behavior, they are also frequently motivated by the desire to help resolve social problems, such as increasing conservation of natural resources, increasing the practice of safe sex, understanding the relationship between viewing television violence and aggressive behavior, developing effective negotiation strategies for the reduction of international conflict, finding ways to reduce racial prejudice, and helping people adjust to life changes.
In this week’s Assignment, you will explore prosocial, or helping, behavior. Prosocial behavior can be observed in situations ranging from everyday interactions with friends and family to the extraordinary circumstances of natural disasters. Some of these behaviors go unnoticed while others are highly publicized.
Some helping behavior is spontaneous, such as when someone helps a person in a wheelchair by opening a door, whereas other helping behavior is highly structured, such as that which takes place within volunteer organizations.
Some social scientists have created taxonomies, or classification systems, for helping behavior. McGuire’s system includes casual helping (small favors, e.g., giving money to a panhandler, lending a pen, giving an acquaintance a ride in the direction you are going); substantial helping (e.g., helping a friend move, a voter goes to a rally to support a political candidate, a celebrity appears in a public service announcement for a charity); emotional helping (providing emotional support); and emergency helping (e.g., giving assistance to a stranger after a car accident) (1994).
Consider the following issues and choose one or more to use:
- Negativity on social media
- Reducing aggression
- Interactions between minorities and the majority
Discuss two of your own examples of prosocial behavior associated with any of the issue(s) you selected. (The issues are listed in the full assignment directions). The two examples can be for the same issue or for two different issues. For each prosocial behavior, specify which issue the prosocial behavior is associated with, who would engage in the behavior, and who would benefit from the behavior.
sources to be used:
3- 4 paragraphs.