Altruism – what is it, the main signs and the reasons, differences from egoism

Altruism – what is it, the main signs and the reasons, differences from egoism

One of relationship between people is the aspiration to do something for others. Such example of behavior called the term altruism. However and in desire to live for the sake of people there can be egoistical motives. It is important to understand when aid to the neighbor is really disinterested.

Altruism – what is it?

The term came from Latin alter (in translation – another). The founder of this concept consider Frenchman Comte. In the 19th century he wrote that the altruism is need of the person to help other people. It includes a wide range of definitions, but the main qualities the sociologist noted:

  • devotion;
  • kindness;
  • honoring.

Spencer included other aspects of social life of society in altruism: policy and missionary work. Altruistic he considered parties which fight for interests and the rights of others. Darwin, believed the person the altruist by the nature, and self-sacrifice by his natural behavior. Later altruism began to consider also simple listening and understanding of problems of other person.

Altruism and egoism

The founder of the theory Comte wrote that these two phenomena of social life, being antagonists, supplement one another. The altruism is an egoism on the contrary. Among themselves they cannot defeat each other constant fight. The first is capable to dominate over the second only. The love is the cornerstone of these two concepts. Egoists love themselves more, and altruists – others. The paradox is that it is impossible to fall in love really with others, without having loved itself.

The egoism is bad the fact that the love for itself in this case acts into the forefront and eclipses the attitude towards other people. Manifestations of unselfishness and mercy are regarded as weakness. The selfish person remembers them only minutes of repentance. On the other hand examples of altruism can be caused by desire to be at the best or for tranquility of own soul. In it it is similar to egoism.

Signs of altruism

The list of the features opening a concept what is altruism is known:

  1. Freedom in making decision on the help to other people. The sympathy under duress is not altruism.
  2. Existence in behavior of a concept of the victim. The efforts and means spent for strangers cannot be filled.
  3. Sense of responsibility. The individual feels fully responsibility for consequences of the actions.
  4. It is not necessary to wait from altruistic actions of any benefit.
  5. The interests of people come to the forefront in comparison with own.
  6. The person feels sincere satisfaction from manifestations of altruism. Even if its interests become restrained because of actions of altruistic character.

Altruism reasons

The thirst for making of good to other people can situationally arise after transferring of deep internal experiences:

  • repentances of something deeds earlier;
  • because of loss something very significant;
  • at threat of life because of a trauma or a disease;
  • at the time of awareness of injustice of the world.

In research psychology on subjects what is altruism and that causes it, its emergence established the following possible reasons:

  1. Biological. If parents were altruists, then there is a high probability that this feature of character will be transferred to children with genes.
  2. Neurophysiological. Disinterested execution of good to people influences certain centers of a brain which emit happiness hormones.
  3. On norms of society. The public organization is arranged so that its norms a priori form installations on the aspiration to bring benefit to people around. Always there is, for example, desire to respond with good to good.
  4. Cognitive (based on personal experience). Helping others, it becomes better than people himself, at least, in own eyes.

Pluses and minuses of altruism

It is useful to consider this phenomenon from the opposite points of view. The effective altruism has obvious positive sides:

  1. Bringing of good to the world, does it better.
  2. The altruism promotes progress of society, reducing his conflictness.
  3. The altruist who is disinterestedly doing good deeds another finds internal rest and harmony of soul.
  4. Consciousness of the people participating in altruistic interaction changes. They begin to believe in good.
  5. In the opinion of people the life value increases.
  6. Disinterested care of others realizes individual potential, provides self-development of the personality.

It is possible to carry to minuses:

  1. Depreciation of as persons with some elements of self-abasement.
  2. In the absence of appropriate internal control, possible emergence of arrogance.
  3. At impossibility to help, the altruist often suffers anguish.
  4. Parasitizing on good from others from imaginary persons in need.

Theories of altruism

It is described by three main doctrines. This conditional division as theories of altruism complement each other:

  1. Evolutionary. Builds altruism in the evolution purpose. Believes what with each new generation of people becomes more and more open and sympathetic to expectations of the people surrounding it, all mankind.
  2. Social exchange. It is favorable to exchange kindness in terms of social economy (by analogy with real), the highest feelings and values are subject to Exchange: love, the status in society, information, services.
  3. Social norms. In society the disinterested aid to the neighbor is considered normal and natural. The altruism in psychology of social norms is based on the principles of reciprocity and responsibility.

Types of altruism

Reflect this phenomenon in various vital circumstances and situations:

  1. Moral or moral altruism. The comfort of soul is reached by internal disclosure through altruism.
  2. Parental. It often not giving in to rational understanding sacrificial care of mothers and fathers in relation to the children.
  3. Sympathetic. Empathy – one of natural qualities of the person. Falling into empathy, the individual projects on himself others troubles and is always ready for the concrete help.
  4. Sotsiumny. He is limited by a separate immediate environment or a certain group of people. Such person is called soul of the company, but often manipulate him.
  5. Demonstrative. It is altruism for show, it is carried out automatically because it is fashionable or in a brand.

How to develop altruism?

This merit is cultivated only by disinterested affairs for the benefit of people. Service and care of others that means altruism, it is possible to develop, being engaged in the following affairs:

  • care and guardianship for the family;
  • charity and philanthropy;
  • volunteer activity;
  • new social current effective altruism.

Author: «MirrorInfo» Dream Team