The Philosophical Term Altruism in Psychology

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The term altruism, benevolence, compassion empathy, fellow feeling, sympathy and love (despite distinctions among them) all that refer to behavior that has it's aim to produce, maintain or improve the physical or psychological welfare and integrity of another persons. The term describe the behavior that is directed in a positive way and is given the name of positive social behavior by Wispe (1978), who distinguishes ifs three principal forms altruism, sympathy and helping Research and theory about positive social behavior is bargaining perhaps this is response to the troubles of our times,perhaps to the tumult of the 1960 are perhaps to the realization that the behavioral scientist have been to long concerned largely with anti social behavior. 

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Whatever is the reason Research on positive social behavior is increasing and to being rewarded. The American Association for the advancement of science awarded it's prestigious prize in 1968at Latane and Darley for their Work on by standard intervention and in 1969 to Zick Rubin for his study of romantic love. In the decade 1960-70 six major works on positive social behaviour were produced by behavioural scientists: Gouldner (1960) contributed his classic article on reciprocity norms, Berkowitz (Berkowitz and Daniels 1963, Daniels and Berkowitz, 1963) established the legitimacy of investing helping behaviour under the laboratory conditions ,Campbell (1965) , had the temerity to use the philosophical term altruism in psychology, Aronfreed (1968) reported about sympathy in children and latane and Darley (1970) work unresponsive bystander captured the imagination of the behavioural science about the same time ,there were other important force stimulating interest in positive social behaviour .There was political activism for both students and their professors. 

These took place various experiments in communal living .The peace movement witnessed a resurgence. The humanistic philosophers made an impact and there occurred an increasing emphasis on cognitive psychology. By the end of 1960s, the names in the game underwent a change There has been studies of sympathy (e.g. Murphy}1937)and cooperation (e.g. Mead} 1937)}but now terms like aiding ,attraction ,charity, friendship, helping ,sharing and trust make their appreance in the literature of psychology. Altruism is the favorite term of the biologists .Wilson's (1975) work has revitalized and enlivened the term. 

The biologists have contributed one of the most important theoretical explanation for altruistic behavior. This is obviously a genetic explanation the fundamental of concern of the biologists is whether altruism can be explained by the natural selection. Wilson argues for the possibility of some kind of the genetic evolution of altruism because altruism is some way increases the genetic fitness of the species .Wilson's position holds the field. Anthropologists and psychologists disputes Wilson's genetic claim Campbell (1978) argues for the social evolution of the altruism. The factor of genetic competition for procreative opportunities cannot provide according to Campbell, the felicitous occasion for the progress of altruism. 

As against this criticism of Campbell of political scientists (Masters, 1978) maintains the natural selection can account for altruism because the traits that make for intra species dominance and reproductive success can include at least some forms of altruism .Anthropologists and philosophers have sought for the social bases of altruism. The concept of sympathy is the only serious explanatory contender, though perhaps, it is complimentary to the genetic explanation for the altruistic behaviour. It is interesting to note that even Darwin ,the biologist used the concept of the sympathy but, it found it's way in to the behavioral sciences probably, through Hume and Adam Smith. . 

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