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Attachment, Altruism and Social Support – Social Behavior (PSY, SOC)

by Tarry Ahuja, MD
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    00:00 Now, another aspect of social behavior that we want to talk about is Attachment.

    00:06 How we feel with those that we love and all around us.

    00:10 Now, attachment theory states that children develop a relationship with at least one caregiver for social and emotional development.

    00:17 That’s not to say that it can't be both but out of bare minimum you need to have at least one and that doesn’t have to be blood parent. It could be a caregiver, or so a grandparents, or somebody else in today’s world of different families, mixed families.

    00:33 so one of the caregivers. And they form this attachment.

    00:36 on adults we also get this attachment but it’s made with others significant people.

    00:40 Other members of our family, really really close friends.

    00:42 In previous lectures, we talk about if you’re going away from for school.

    00:47 You form attachments with your new roommates or those of your classmates because you’re in this scenario and you need that social and emotional attachment to feel whole and that’s who you kind of connect with.

    01:01 More comfortable when attachments are around or in a moment of needs.

    01:05 When you’re child and you fall and you bang in your elbow, what’s the first thing you do after you cry? You cry for your mama or you’re like “mama, mama” it’s because they are… they’re your caregiver that you have that attachment made. And so they tend to feel a lot better.

    01:20 When you’re going in for surgery as an adult you want your loved ones there after you come out of surgery like I want to be there for them.

    01:26 It has a form of comfort makes you feel good.

    01:31 Now altruism is another social behavior, another concept which is defined as a motivational state with the goal of increasing another’s welfare.

    01:39 In simple English, you’re really trying to help somebody and not only trying to help them like I’m not talking about just helping somebody load a bag of groceries in their car. Something a little bit more significant.

    01:49 And it’s usually something where that person is really in the state of need.

    01:55 Some definitions of altruism state that it must have both a self-sacrificial in nature and lack of external reward.

    02:01 Let’s break that down. Self-sacrificial means that you’re not really getting anything out of it.

    02:07 You’re sacrificing yourself in order to help another.

    02:10 and there must be a lack of external rewards.

    02:12 You going and working at the soup kitchen is there to help people.

    02:17 You’re giving up your time and you’re not getting an award, you’re not getting money.

    02:21 you’re not getting anything other than a sense of helping and accomplishments but you’re not getting anything tangible in terms of a reward.

    02:30 Empathy-altruism states that altruism does exist and is evoked by the empathetic desire to help someone who’s suffering.

    02:37 'Cause there some who believe altruism doesn’t actually really exist.

    02:41 There's always something you’re going to get out of it.

    02:43 And I think almost any way you look at it you could probably position yourself from it.

    02:49 and that you are getting something out of it and a lot of the situations.

    02:52 but the empathy-altruism kind of theory states that altruism does exist and it is evoked by the desire to want to help people who are suffering.

    03:03 If you see somebody who’s in pain, war toward countries, famine there's something in a sense empathy it says, “I really want to help and I don’t care.

    03:11 I don’t need anything out of this. I’ll give money; I’ll give my time 'cause I feel really really bad”.

    03:17 Research has shown individuals will be more altruistic when they recognize someone in need or if they feel a sense of responsibility.

    03:24 So if this is your neighbor, or if this is a family member who’s really in need, you’re not going to hesitate, you’re going to step up and do whatever it takes.

    03:34 You see this in times of sort of mass hysteria when big things have happened like 9-11 or you have a terrorist attack and you see images of people.

    03:45 And you can see that could easily be me or I look like that person.

    03:49 “My God like that’s he's my age he lives in the city next to me.

    03:53 I have to do something, I have to help.” They have that sense of responsibility.

    03:56 Another interesting thing is the bystander effect.

    03:59 And that is you feel like you or you’re more inclined to help out and show some altruism if there's more around you.

    04:08 If there is so much of you watching, if this person fall down or really in the state of need, you feel bad just walking by.

    04:17 And if there's a whole bunch of people like kind of watching the situation If you feel like okay collectively whether it’s me or you were ask we need to do something.

    04:23 We call that phenomenon the bystander effect.

    04:26 So the number of people around the situation will impact the helping, So if it’s just you, you feel like you got to do something.

    04:34 and if there's a lot of people around you, you it comes dilute.

    04:38 Well, who’s going to do this? Are you going to do this? Or we’re in this together? and you can almost kind of bleed into the crowd.

    04:45 Social support is a perception that you have people around you.

    04:48 You have a term that we brought forth already before the social network.

    04:52 If you have a good social network or social support that is going to really improve your quality of life.

    04:59 and it’s now being shown to be a major determinant of health and well-being.

    05:03 If you are completely individual, and have no social network, no friends, nobody to lean on.

    05:11 We know that overall your quality of life is considered or rated to be lower.

    05:16 And that you are going to have lower determinants of health.

    05:19 You going to get sick the more. You going to have more days off.

    05:21 you might suffer from mood disorders because of that loneliness or suppression or lack of ability to lean on somebody when you need them.

    05:28 So those with social support have been shown to engage in healthier behaviors and have fewer health issues or conditions.

    05:35 If you know that you have a couple of friends that you can lean on.

    05:39 When you need help, you have your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister.

    05:42 If you’re sick they can help you get better. They can help you in times of need.

    05:46 You’re going through divorce. You’re going through the death of the loved one.

    05:49 You have those people there to help you.

    05:51 Those who don’t have that social support tend to show poor health outcomes.

    05:57 Now, four common functions of social support. I've already kind of hint of the few of those.

    06:01 Emotional support. I’m going to make you feel okay when things are going wrong.

    06:06 and therefore encouragement, show you the affection.

    06:08 There is actual tangible support.

    06:10 Provisions of financial assistance, giving you actual good, cooking you a meal, “I can come alright and clean.” I’m doing something tangible for you that helps you when your time of need.

    06:19 I can just give you advice guidance and point you along the right way.

    06:23 That’s just called Informational Support.

    06:25 And then you can have Companionship Support.

    06:29 That’s one you also need just a hug, right? So presence of companionship and be around in social activities, go to a sporting event, watch a movie with a friend.

    06:38 That kind of stuff really place a huge role in your overall social support.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Attachment, Altruism and Social Support – Social Behavior (PSY, SOC) by Tarry Ahuja, MD is from the course Social Interactions.


    Author of lecture Attachment, Altruism and Social Support – Social Behavior (PSY, SOC)

     Tarry Ahuja, MD

    Tarry Ahuja, MD


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