Empathy and altruism – recent evidence

Altruism is a type of prosocial behaviour.  Whereas prosocial behaviour is behaviour that helps others, altruism goes one step further - it is behaviour that helps others with no benefit to ourselves, and often at a cost to ourselves.  While some psychologists argue that there is no such thing as truly altruistic behaviour (see Schaller and Cialdini's Negative State Relief model, for example), others like Batson argue that altruism operates through empathy.  Batson's Empathy-Altruism hypothesis states that empathic concern produces ...

Pro-social behaviour and the bystander effect

What is pro-social behaviour?  Most of us have heard of anti-social behaviour.  This is behaviour that harms others and shows a lack of concern for their well-being.  pro-social behaviour is the opposite. It is behaviour that helps others and shows a concern for them.  Prosocial behaviour also includes altruism, which is when we help others and show a real concern for them, without any expectation of benefit for ourselves, and sometimes at a personal cost.  As a friend of mine ...