- Term Papers, Book Reports, Research Papers and College Essays

Analysis Behaviors

Essay by   •  April 19, 2014  •  Essay  •  1,190 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,041 Views

Essay Preview: Analysis Behaviors

Report this essay
Page 1 of 5

Analysis of Helping Behaviors

Joseph Veach

Walden University

Analysis of Helping Behaviors

In late October, 2012, Hurricane Sandy brought much devastation to the eastern United States as well as the Caribbean. According to the Huffington Post, "Sandy killed at least 125 people in the United States" and "damaged or destroyed homes and businesses, more than 72,000 in New Jersey alone". Many people were without electricity for weeks. Gasoline was very hard to obtain in many areas. I will not soon forget traveling New Jersey to see the Steelers play the Giants and stopping at a Dunkin' Donuts which could offer no cream for my coffee nor cheese for my sandwich due to spoilage from lack of refrigeration. I realized how fortunate and blessed I was to live in an area of Pennsylvania that only lost power for about twelve hours.

During this time of tragedy, volunteers were much needed and appreciated by victims. One simple way to help the victims was by donating to the reputable Red Cross. The organization states that "your gift enables the Red Cross to get prepared and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected". In contrast, there is always evil around the corner. Fox News reported "Superstorm Sandy exposed the true nature of people in its path, bringing out tales of hope and heroism--as well as storied of callous cruelty". Some people went as far as dressing like relief workers, robbing the people who assumed they were helping them.

Why would one give money to the Red Cross to benefit victims? Whether the motives of people are altruistic or otherwise, we can attempt to answer that question theoretically by applying different perspectives on helping.

Prosocial behavior may be embedded in our genes. According to the evolutionary perspective, people helping others may be symbolic to humans' instinct to procreate and preserve the species. In a sociocultural light, people may feel that it is the norm to help those in time of tragedy. Taylor, Peplau and Sears (2006) highlighted the norm of social responsibility, where "we should help others who depend on us", the norm of reciprocity in which "we should help those who help us", and the norm of social justice which deal with distributing resources fairly (p. 376). One might feel motivated to help by realizing how much he or she has and how others lost everything in this storm. Donating money/ resources balances the scales a bit, displaying equity. A learning perspective on help can be simply explained that perhaps people were raised by parents who helped others or encouraged their children to help. Helping is a learned and mimicked behavior. In a decision-making perspective, one must make a decision to determine if help is needed, if they feel a sense of responsibility to help, what inconveniences or dangers may there be in helping, and finally decide to take action or not. There was obviously help needed, for many people lost all they owned in this storm. The attribution theory defines if people deserve help or not. How much damage a storm will cause is very difficult to predetermine, and no one asks to be placed in the path of a storm. Carelessness or apathy did not bring upon the misfortune of these victims, and the devastation that occurred could be considered and "act of God". The negative state relief model theorizes that people may help others to get rid of a bad mood. Thinking about the misfortune of others and taking action to help them could allow people to turn the negative mood into positive action, and experiencing relief.

There are a many different reasons people help others. Empathy is a way that one can feel another's pain, and pain shared is pain lessened. Felling sorry for those victims causes many people to contribute. Another reason is the personal distress one may feel



Download as:   txt (6.5 Kb)   pdf (92.8 Kb)   docx (11.4 Kb)  
Continue for 4 more pages »
Only available on