In this video, many clips are being showed from different places, cultures, religion, and gender. The situations in this video include ordinary people who are threatened in different ways, and in every social situation other ordinary unknown people arise to help the threatened people who need help. However, the question is: Are these people who offered help real altruistic heroes or self-interested in some way and just showing off?
What causes people to jeopardize their own health and well-being to help other people? What is it that inspires individuals to give their time, energy, and money to aid in the betterment of others, even when they receive nothing tangible in return? Altruism involves the unselfish concern for other people. It involves doing things simply out of a desire to help, not because you feel obligated to out of duty, loyalty, or religious reasons. Empathy-altruism hypothesis states that when people feel empathy toward others, especially if they experience the same situation that others experience, their desire to help increases even if it involves a cost to them.
Altruism is one aspect of what social psychologists refer to as prosocial behavior. Prosocial behavior refers to any action that benefits other people, no matter what the motive or how the giver benefits from the action. Remember, however, that altruism involves true selflessness. While all altruistic acts are prosocial, not all prosocial behaviors are altruistic. For example, we might help others for a variety of reasons such as guilt, obligation, duty or even rewards.
In the video, the individual differences were somehow obvious. Not all the people offered help in the same way. Some offered help by getting people or cars from the train’s way; some were satisfied by calling for help; some stood only to watch. One interesting thing in this video was that in all of the situations males were actually the ones who offered help.
Although most of the people who needed help in the video, most probably, were out-group members rather than in-group members, people’s empathy was still high enough to intervene and offer help. However social psychologists claim that because people in need are out-group members, helpers helped these people to feel good about themselves and give good impressions on others.
One interesting example is the last example in the bus in the video when the driver stopped the bus to save a person whose heart stopped or was unable to breathe. The bus was full of people who didn’t assume responsibility to intervene and help because of the large number, producing the bystander effect. Only the bus driver took a fast action until the person was awake again, maybe because of his sense of responsibility for the bus and the people in the bus. However, when the driver took an action, people in the bus were split into two: some stayed to watch, and some even got off the bus. People’s number started to decrease with time because they were getting late for their appointments and commitments.
Parents can do several things to foster pro-social behaviors. Be a positive role model; if your child sees you acting in a positive way, he is more likely to follow suit. Encourage your child to play with others; playing is one of the best and most common ways children learn to interact with others. Playing encourages helping, sharing and cooperating, three pro-social behaviors that you should attempt to teach your child.
However, I would not see someone as completely bad or completely good because humans are more complicated than a simple word could describe and conclude them.