Answer the questions below and discuss.
- An ongoing debate in social psychological research on altruism is whether people can help others for truly unselfish reasons. Explain the difference between an altruistic motive and an egoistic motive to help. Describe how social psychological research has tried to show that people can help for purely altruistic reasons. Do you think people help for truly altruistic motives? Why or why not?
- Pick one of the option and answer the question.
- Option 1: Explain catharsis, desensitization, and habituation. When you watch violent programs on TV does it have a cathartic effect on you? Do you feel aroused, satiated, repulsed, nothing? Does it depend on the type of stimuli (e.g. realistic vs. unrealistic)? Do you feel desensitization or habituation occurs? Is the media presenting more intense exposure for effects? Should violence on television be censored? To some degree, or not at all? Explain why or why not.
- Option 2: Define aggression. Defining aggression can be difficult in sports. Is trash-talking aggression? Hitting a batter with a pitch? How do we make those decisions in sports? What about mock sports like wrestling where violence is the end goal? Give examples of things in sports that you consider to be aggression and those that are not. Are some forms of aggression acceptable in sports and some are not and where do we draw that line? Define habituation and desensitization and explain whether or not you think they occur in sports.
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