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ARE WOMEN MORE ALTRUISTIC THEN MEN Darwin 1859 cited in Gross 1988 in his book on the Origin of Species 1859 stated species evolved through the process of natural selection in which only the fittest survive This implies selfish behaviour However some species do show altruism eg rabbits banging on the ground to alert others of danger Altruism has been defined as helping someone in need with no expectation of receiving something in return Humans also show altruism but psychologists have questioned is it truly selflessness that motivates us to help others or do we receive some reward in return The exchange theory 1959 cited in Deaux and Wrightsman 1980 states people display altruistic behaviour to feel good or gain social approval This theory also states the higher the rewards the more likely altruistic behaviour will be engaged in Rewards can be either intrinsic such as praise or extrinsic such as self-satisfaction Many factors have been studied to see if they affect whether or not we display more or less altruistic behaviour Such factors include gender of person requiring the help and of the person offering it type of situation age race and physical conditions such as type of weather or area request for help is asked busy or quiet Colaizzi Williams and Kayson 1984 cited in investigated whether sex differences existed in altruism Both males and females phoned random numbers from the phone book and explained their car would not start and asked the subject if they could ring a number for them as they had no change The time taken for the subject to call was recorded It was found that women were helped more then men Brown-Kruse and Hummels 1993 cited in found in public goods games males displayed more altruistic behaviour Nowell and Tinker 1991 cited in however found the opposite It was also noted that men were more extreme they would be more likely to be
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