Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis

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Empathy-altruism hypothesis
Empathy-altruism hypothesis is a prosocial behavior that states people are motivated to act in an altruism manner by the empathy they feel for others. Altruism is defined as a true desire to help those in need and expect nothing in return, not even satisfaction. Empathy is defined as a feeling of understanding the experience that another being is facing. Empathy-altruism hypothesis has a very important significance to American culture as well as cultures around the world because we all should strive towards altruism motivation to ensure our own survival in the future.
Empathy has different elements and different levels dependent upon the situation and feelings felt by the observer. If the observer has empathy towards the observed, and not only feel what they are experiencing, but understand what they are experiencing then the observer is experiencing the two elements of empathy. A person with a high level of empathy would be an example of the empathy-altruism hypothesis. A person with a low level of empathy would be considered selfish. “Empathy is a vicarious emotional experience in which you feel and understand what another person feels.” (Bell) Empathy is a natural feeling that most people experience, it is if they choose to embrace this feeling and act upon it that determines their individual level and whether it will trigger altruism motivation. Altruism is a desire to help other people without a sense of obligation and to expect nothing in return. Everyday many people have altruism motivation; whether they drop off a fax to a coworker or perform the Heimlich maneuver on a choking stranger and do not have any expectations from the recipient, or perhaps they expect a thank you. “Remember, however, that pure altruism involves true selflessness. While all altruistic acts are prosocial, not all prosocial behaviors are…...

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