Egotistic or Altruistic?

What is the difference between altruism and prosocial behaviour?
Prosocial behaviour refers to any behaviour that is intended to benefit others. Altruism is the performance of prosocial actions without expectations of benefit for oneself. In egoism, the ultimate goal is personal benefit. In alturism, the ultimate goal is increasing another’s welfare, regardless of personal cost or benefit.

Why do people help people?
If a person sees a homeless man in need of money they are more likely to evaluate the situation in terms of possible rewards and costs for helping. Other people will feel more empathetic and will imagine how the person in need is feeling. A persons empathetic response should be greater if you feel that a close family member or friend is in trouble. Some possible reasons for helping someone could be because  they feel recognition that seeing the person in need has triggered personal distress and that the only was to get rid of it is to help that person.

Individually think of a situation in which you helped others, and analyse the reason/motivation…
One time I offered my seat on the train to an old woman and she felt really bad. She began saying that I didn’t have to. So I lied and said I was getting off at the next station anyways, because I didn’t want her to feel like she owed me anything. I then got off the train at the next stop and ran to the next cart on the train. Part of the reason for giving her the seat was because she looked like she needed it and because I was in the priority seat and knew that people would be judging me if I didn’t.

1 Comment on Egotistic or Altruistic?

  1. Aisling
    December 1, 2015 at 3:21 am (3 years ago)

    I think most of your decision to let her have your seat was pretty egoistic because you were pressured into giving her the seat because you were in the priority seat and you were scared of people judging you and you wanted to feel like a better person but the fact that you felt bad for that old woman is pretty selfless.


Leave a Reply