People only help others when the rewards of helping outweigh the costs. Critically consider this statement using at least two theories of helping and examples of research to illustrate your answer.

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This essay aims to outline and discuss theories to explain helping behaviour and the reasons behind it. Whether helping behaviour is carried out simply through altruistic reasons or are there selfish motives behind our actions. Do we help simply through the goodness of our hearts or basic instincts which come in play and result in us helping out those in need of our help? Psychologists suggest that helping behaviour is affected when the rewards outweigh the costs. From the several theories which exist with the aim of explaining altruistic behaviour, the evolutionary theory and social theory will be used to explain the above statement, other factors such as empathy and altruistic will also be outlined in an effort to understand whether actions of helping are really to reap rewards or simply out of the goodness of our hearts. In order to understand helping behaviour, a comparison has to be made see the different types of behaviour which exist. Pro-social is known as any act which is performed with the intention of benefitting another person. (Aronson, Wilson, Akert 2002). Altruism on the other hand is behaviour which is carried out in order to help another with no intention of gaining reward, even if it involves a cost to the individual helping, (Aronson et al. 2002) The evolutionary theory suggests that we help for the survival of our offspring, but is this the case at all times? Myers (2001) suggests that we have inherited the survival genes from our ancestors, therefore resulting in us carrying out deeds which will aid in spreading them in the future. This proves to a certain degree that we are helping in order for our genes to continue living on after us through our children and grandchildren and so on. This also confirms the concept of “original sin” that we are helping for selfish reasons; we are not simply helping from the goodness of hearts. But
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