Addressing the Altruism Question Experimentally

C. Daniel Batson

in Altruism and Altruistic Love

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195143584
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848119 | DOI:
Addressing the Altruism Question Experimentally

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Everything we do, no matter how noble and seemingly self-sacrificial, is really directed toward the ultimate goal of self-benefit. Comte considered altruism and egoism to be two distinct motives within the individual. The strong form of psychological hedonism is inconsistent with the possibility of altruism, but to affirm this form is simply to assert universal egoism. Collectivism is motivation to benefit a particular group as a whole. Different forms of prosocial motivation are usually assumed to be mutually supportive and cooperative. Altruism, collectivism, and principlism are often confused or equated. There is a logical limit to the experimental tests of the empathy-altruism hypothesis.

Keywords: Comte; egoism; collectivism; prosocial motivation; principlism

Chapter.  8000 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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