Psychology & Psychiatry

Drunk, powerful, and in the dark: The paradox of the disinhibited

Power can lead to great acts of altruism, but also corruptive, unethical behavior. Being intoxicated can lead to a first date, or a bar brawl. And the mask of anonymity can encourage one individual to let a stranger know ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Babies show sense of fairness, altruism as early as 15 months

A new study presents the first evidence that a basic sense of fairness and altruism appears in infancy. Babies as young as 15 months perceived the difference between equal and unequal distribution of food, and their awareness ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Powerful, intoxicated, anonymous: The paradox of the disinhibited

Power can lead to great acts of altruism, but also corruptive, unethical behavior. Being intoxicated can lead to a first date, or a bar brawl. And the mask of anonymity can encourage one individual to let a stranger know ...

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Altruism

Altruism  /ˈæltruːɪzəm/ is a concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and a core aspect of various religious traditions, though the concept of 'others' toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. Altruism is the opposite of selfishness.

Altruism can be distinguished from feelings of loyalty and duty. Altruism is a motivation to provide something of value to a party who must be anyone but the self, while duty focuses on a moral obligation towards a specific individual (for example, a god, a king), or collective (for example, a government). Some individuals may feel both altruism and duty, while others may not. Pure altruism consists of giving something of value[citation needed] (a reward or benefit) with no expectation of any compensation or benefits, either direct, or indirect (for instance from recognition of the giving).

The term altruism may also refer to an ethical doctrine that claims that individuals are morally obliged to benefit others. Used in this sense, it is the opposite of egoism.

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