Although there are many controversial topics in social psychology, this week’s theme of altruism versus egoism is one of the most provocative. The debate over whether humans are capable of pure altruism versus egoism is typically witnessed in the philosophy realm. However, there have been many social psychology studies conducted to determine whether or not humans are, in fact, capable of pure altruism. There is sound research to support both sides of the argument. Some of the research has shown that people do good deeds because they derive some benefit from them while others do good deeds for completely selfless reasons. This week your discussion will consist of a debate with your classmates on altruism versus egoism.
You and your classmates will consider and cover the following topics in your arguments:
- Whether humans are capable of pure altruism (complete selflessness)
- Whether our good deeds are rooted in egoism (motivated by self-interest)
- Whether human behavior falls somewhere between purely altruistic and purely egoistic
- The extent to which culture plays a role in altruistic or egoistic behavior.
Your responses must be scholarly and avoid unsupported claims (e.g., personal opinions and generalizations). That is, you must support your assertions with credible, scientific evidence (peer-reviewed research).
You have been assigned randomly to argue in favor of either altruism, egoism, or somewhere in between. This discussion may require you to take a perspective that differs from your own view of the issue. However, you must take the position of the topic to which you have been assigned. For example, if you are assigned to argue in favor of egoism but you really believe that people are somewhere in between altruism and egoism, you must find research to support arguments in favor of egoism. Your post should be approximately 500 words in length and include appropriate APA-style citations and references as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
Guided Response: Please review several classmates’ posts and respond to at least two classmates’ initial posts. Each response must be to a student whose post consists of an opposing argument to yours. That is, if you are assigned to argue in favor of altruism, you must respond to one student who argued in favor of egoism and one who argued in favor of “somewhere in the middle of altruism and egoism.” Your responses should challenge your classmates’ arguments using the research you found to support your argument. Continue to monitor the discussion forum until 5:00 p.m. MST on Day 7 of the week and respond to anyone who replies to your initial post.
Carefully review the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric for the criteria that will be used to evaluate this Discussion Thread.