Aromatherapy Essay, Research Paper
ARE WOMEN MORE ALTRUISTIC THEN MEN?
Darwin (1859, cited in Gross, 1988) in his book on the Origin of Species (1859) stated species evolved through the process of natural selection in which only the fittest survive. This implies selfish behaviour. However, some species do show altruism (e.g., rabbits banging on the ground to alert others of danger). Altruism has been defined as helping someone in need with no expectation of receiving something in return. Humans also show altruism but psychologists have questioned is it truly selflessness that motivates us to help others or do we receive some reward in return.
The exchange theory (1959, cited in Deaux and Wrightsman, 1980) states people display altruistic behaviour to feel good or gain social approval. This theory also states the higher the rewards the more likely altruistic behaviour will be engaged in. Rewards can be either intrinsic such as praise or extrinsic such as self-satisfaction. Many factors have been studied to see if they affect whether or not we display more or less altruistic behaviour. Such factors include gender of person requiring the help and of the person offering it, type of situation, age, race and physical conditions (such as type of weather or area request for help is asked, busy or quiet).
Colaizzi, Williams and Kayson (1984, cited in ) investigated whether sex differences existed in altruism. Both males and females phoned random numbers from the phone book and explained their car would not start and asked the subject if they could ring a number for them as they had no change. The time taken for the subject to call was recorded. It was found that women were helped more then men. Brown-Kruse and Hummels (1993, cited in ) found in public goods games males displayed more altruistic behaviour, Nowell and Tinker (1991, cited in ) however found the opposite. It was also noted that men were more extreme , they would be more likely to be extremely selfish or extremely selfless. Women however were more likely to share evenly.
Latane and Darley (1970, cited in Gross, 1988) studied “low cost” altruism such as giving the time or directions. The study was carried out by psychology students who asked 1500 passer-by in New York some low cost requests. They concluded that depending on the request between 34 and 85 percent of the passer-by displayed helpful behaviour. This study investigates the low cost of giving change and gender. The experimental hypothesis is females will show more altruistic behaviour compared to men. The null hypothesis is there will be no difference in gender and altruistic behaviour.