This presentation is an analysis of prosocial behavior in our surroundings and its impacts. It is mainly built upon observation of helping behavior in our community. I have observed the prosocial behavior of other people and engaged in prosocial behavior. The presentation has three parts. The first part is a description of prosocial behaviors performed by myself or other people. The second section analyzes the impact of the prosocial acts I performed on myself and on other people, while the third analyzes social psychological principles in tandem with the prosocial behaviors presented in previous slides. The final section harmonizes the content presented and confers meaning to the information.
Three Prosocial Behaviors and Impact
A pregnant woman arrived at the coffee shop and found a long queue of customers, myself included. She occupied the last spot in the line and was poised to wait for her turn to get served. Her first reaction on walking and founding the long queue was a sigh of disappointment as she held on to her pregnant belly. When it was my turn to get served, I moved to the back of the line and requested her to get served first. She smiled as she moved to the front of the queue. The other customers would not let me get to the back as they forced me to get served after the woman and clapped.
Analysis of 1st Prosocial Behavior
The prosocial act got me feeling good about myself because I realized my small act of letting the woman cut the line made her day better. The act gave me a positive feeling towards people and set the realization that people aren’t bad, but their daily activities may present challenges. I felt less stressed about my own challenges as I was hopeful. The realization that people are struggling and deserve kindness was an eye-opener as it increased my desire to do good. I realized that kindness is contagious as my act was met with a reward. The other customers pushed me back to the front of the queue when I tried walking to the back.
Generally, I was less aggressive throughout the day as I tried to deeply consider how people expressed themselves. During my daily activities, I noticed myself smiling more when I remembered the priceless expression of gratitude on the pregnant lady I had helped earlier. The woman appeared less worried as she suddenly began engaging in conversation with others and the attendant at the shop. She now had a smile on her face, evidence of happy thoughts, while appearing less aggressive as she adopted a welcoming smile. She appeared enthusiastic for the day, which was evident in how she keenly looked at people with positivity at the shop.
Three Prosocial Behaviors
I took the lift to a certain building in town the other day. The lift was going up and there were three of us inside, ready to go up. Just as the door was about to close, we saw a man from the corner rushing to take the same lift. When he realized he could not make it, despair was evident on his face. One of the occupants held the door, so it could not close and the rushing man boarded with a smile on his face. His facial expressions were wholly changed and he thanked the man who held the door for him vehemently, claiming the next meeting was very crucial.
Analysis of 2nd Prosocial Behavior
The help availed by the rushing man encouraged me to continue doing good throughout the day for others and improved my personal opinions on human beings as I realized good people exist. Goodness positively impacts the human mind and reduces stress and replaces it with gratitude. The man was thankful to his helper and this changed his facial expression as he looked less stressed and aggressive compared to when he was rushing for the lift. The man started talking about his upcoming meeting enthusiastically, proclaiming how he knew it would be great. This shows improved mood and thoughts for the day.
Three Prosocial Behaviors
A group of old ladies, seemingly on a walk, suddenly stood, wanting to cross the busy road. They appeared fatigued and fearful of the endless fast cars and hence waited for a while as I observed. A young lady on foot noticed the stagnation of these old women and decided to help them cross. She walked into the road cautiously and signaled for the cars to stop before calling the old women to cross. They followed her and when she got to the other side, the drivers had stopped and signaled her to cross with the ladies. The drivers and passersby noticed her actions and clapped for the helpful lady.
The incident improved the mood of all people who witnessed the incident as they stopped their activities to clap for the lady. They appreciated her kindness towards the old ladies and appeared happier hence less stressed. The good done by the lady had a ripple effect on all the people at the scene, improving their thoughts. Drivers are typically known for the loud honking on the roads and their aggression. Drivers involved in the incident displayed less aggression as they stopped for the ladies. The ladies also had a soft demeanor characterized by decreased hostility towards people as they thanked their helper. The ladies and everybody at the scene were hopeful the day would be better and looked forward to helping other people.
The Ripple Effect of Kindness
The image above illustrates a ripple effect. A disturbance at the center creates waves that alter the entire layer. The same is true for kindness. Small acts of kindness stimulate goodness amongst other people and set them to do good for others.
Social Psychological Principles
Providing aid to people is associated with empathetic feelings towards others. People look at the challenges facing other people from a personal perspective hence aid is sometimes considered selfish. People put themselves in the positions of the people in need of aid and imagine what they would want to be done for them. The person helping the other with the lift might have imagined his wish if he was the one dashing for the lift. He may have imagined that he would have wanted someone to hold the door for him and hence help the other one. Aid is sometimes a reflection of personal need for help than it is a display of desire to uplift others.
The feelings associated with providing aid for other people are sometimes sufficient motivation for coming through for people. Sometimes, people provide aid so that they can convince themselves that they are good people and these actions provide them with the conviction of their character. Other people offer aid with the hope of being reciprocated in the future or immediately by these people or others. This implies people give help with the hope of receiving it back. Helping people improve the mood of both parties as one feels good about themselves while the other’s problem is alleviated. Helping people generates people with generally less aggression, hence helping has a ripple effect of generating happy people.
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Sznycer, D., Delton, A. W., Robertson, T. E., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2019). The ecological rationality of helping others: Potential helpers integrate cues of recipients’ need and willingness to sacrifice. Evolution and Human Behavior, 40(1), 34–45. Web.