Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://dx.doi.org/10.23668/psycharchives.1847
Title: Decomposing Altruism
Authors: Windmann, Sabine
Schultze, Martin
Issue Date: Nov-2018
Abstract: Altruism is defined as costly behavior that benefits others. Despite this seemingly clear definition, altruistic behaviors can take diverse forms whose interrelations are currently not well understood. In this project, we aim for “factor-pure” assessment of altruistic behavioral traits. Based on the existing literature, we distinguish between three forms of altruistic behavior. The first and most common form is helping/sharing, behavior through which resources such as time, money, food or information are being provided to needy individuals. A second form of altruistic behavior, costly punishment, describes investments into the defense of group norms by way of punishing defectors who free-ride on group cooperation for their own benefits. The behavior is often exerted either anonymously or indirectly via higher authorities and institutions to prevent risk of retaliation and retribution. The third and most confrontational form of altruistic behavior is moral courage, termed also civil courage in reference to civil-democratic values. This refers to the expression and defense of moral values against all forms of social threats including loss of wellbeing, social status, and (in the extreme) life. Moral/civil courage differs from altruistic punishment in the type of values that are being defended (moral/civil-democratic as opposed to conventional), and with regards to the anticipated costs which are unknown and potentially limitless in the case of moral courage, in contrast to being calculable and finite in the case of costly punishment. In addition, moral courage differs from helping/sharing as it refers to the confrontation of violators as opposed to the compensation of victims. Finally, helping/sharing refers to rewarding acts whereas costly punishment is punitive. We have designed a 64-item questionnaire aimed at measuring the three facets of altruistic behavioral traits via self-report. Our analyses will include classical item analysis, exploratory structural equation modeling, and alternative methods of scale construction such as ant colony optimization. We aim to investigate 400 participants selected via quota sampling. The project is preregistered at https://osf.io/2buh6/.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12034/1482
http://dx.doi.org/10.23668/psycharchives.1847
Citation: Windmann, S., & Schultze, M. (2018, November). Decomposing Altruism. Leibniz Institut für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID). https://doi.org/10.23668/psycharchives.1847
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