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Pro-Social Behavior: Diffusion of Responsibility - Research Paper Example

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The paper “Pro-social behavior: diffusion of responsibility” seeks to evaluate pro-social behavior as the act of helping an individual or a group of people in need without expecting any reward from them. The help offered is not motivated by any reward or punishment…
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Pro-Social Behavior: Diffusion of Responsibility
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"Pro-Social Behavior: Diffusion of Responsibility"

Download file to see previous pages The act of helping without expecting any reward afterwards can originate from the socialization process or just purely self-interest brought about by the individual’s personality. Social learning theory and behavioral theories can explain the origin of this phenomenon quite well and especially for young children. For example, operant conditioning and observational learning can instill the pro-social behavior in an individual (Kinney and Porhola, 2009). Social norms in a given society can also foster the development of pro-social behavior in an individual since they guide all the actions and behaviors of an individual in that society. Researchers have also verified that pro-social behavior can be as a result of the situation the individual is in. For instance, if the person is alone in the scene of an accident and forced by the circumstance or the situation to elicit pro-social behavior. Diffusion of responsibility takes place if there are more bystanders and each expects the other to take charge of the situation to help. In most cases, diffusion of responsibility makes the person in need of help suffer more and may even die if the situation required immediate action like in cases of tragic accidents. There are different conditions that facilitate the occurrence of diffusion of responsibility: de-individuation, group think and social loafing (Hewstone et al., 2012). De-individuation is where an individual does not take any personal responsibility in what is happening because it does not directly concern them. When several bystanders adopt this de-individuation condition in a situation that requires help, then diffusion of responsibility is likely to occur because none of them will be ready to take any initiative to help those in need. The second condition is the groupthink issue. This occurs when group members (those individuals present in the scene that requires pro-social behavior) start to think alike, hence, leaving no room for brainstorming or creativity. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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