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Social psychology and volunteer work (reflective paper) - Essay Example

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There are so many impoverished families now, and because of recession, the numbers have gone up as well. This is because poverty is directly correlated to economic status. This year, I have devoted twenty hours to help the low-income…
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Social psychology and volunteer work (reflective paper)
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Download file to see previous pages s was such a great learning experience and it allowed me to understand social psychology even deeper, especially in understanding why people help and the causes and cures of prejuidice.
Volunteerism is an altruistic activity. It is done to improve human lives, especially those who are not as fortunate as others. Since it is an altruistic activity, it gives the volunteer a sense of self and generally feels good about his own self.
This is prosocial behavior at work. Prosocial behavior is any act performed with the goal of benefitting the other person (Aronson, Wilson, Akert, 2009) and altruism is the desire to help another person even if it involves some personal cost to the helper (Aronsn, Wilson, Akert, 2009). Volunteering is a form of an altruistic job. It is not motivated by genes, which is the promise of evolutionary psychology, nor is it also motivated by the reciprocity norm. For me, volunteering is done purely because of empathy and altruism.
In evolutionary psychology, it is posited that the helper must share the same genes with that of the one being helped because it may help in the passing on of the genes because the kin share the same genetic makeup. Therefore, the genetic imprint of their clan would be passed on to the next generation. Since I am not in any way related to the people I am helping, I do not consider this as something that can prolong my genetic imprint on Earth.
Same with social exchange, which posits that, like evolutionary psychology, the act of volunteering is a self-serving effort, but unlike it, it does not involve genetics. Social exchange proposes that we help because the returns would be high. For example, if someone helps a girl (not related to him) who has been hit by a car, he will enjoy social approval, higher self-worth and it would relieve him of the personal distress (and probably guilt) that he experienced while witnessing the accident. Volunteering might be self-serving but because of the effort in helping, I do not ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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