Essay on Selfish or Selfless - 863 Words - StudyMode

From these expressions for the fitnesses of the two types of organism,we can immediately deduce that the altruistic type will only befavoured by selection if there is a statistical correlation betweenpartners, i.e., if altruists have greater than random chance of beingpaired with other altruists, and similarly for selfish types. Forsuppose there is no such correlation—as would be the case if thepairs were formed by random sampling from the population. Then, theprobability of having a selfish partner would be the same forboth S and A types, i.e., P(Spartner/S) = P(S partner/A). Similarly,P(A partner/S) = P(Apartner/A). From these probabilistic equalities, it followsimmediately that W(S) is greaterthan W(A), as can be seen from the expressions forW(S) and W(A) above; so theselfish type will be favoured by natural selection, and will increasein frequency every generation until all the altruists are eliminatedfrom the population. Therefore, in the absence of correlation betweenpartners, selfishness must win out (cf. Skyrms 1996). This confirms the point noted insection 2—that altruism can only evolve if there is a statisticaltendency for the beneficiaries of altruistic actions to be altruiststhemselves.

Selfish or Selfless On March 13, ..

I think people are more selfish than selfless because of the ..

Prosocial Behavior | Learning to Give

The question we are interested in is: which type will be favoured byselection? To make the analysis tractable, we make two simplifyingassumptions: that reproduction is asexual, and that type is perfectlyinherited, i.e., selfish (altruistic) organisms give rise to selfish(altruistic) offspring. Modulo these assumptions, the evolutionarydynamics can be determined very easily, simply by seeing whetherthe S or the A type has higher fitness, in theoverall population. The fitness of the Stype, W(S), is the weighted average of the payoff toan S when partnered with an S and the payoff toan S when partnered with an A, where the weights aredetermined by the probability of having the partner inquestion. Therefore,

Prosocial behavior is a type of voluntary ..

This simple model also highlights the point made previously, thatdonor-recipient correlation, rather than genetic relatedness, is thekey to the evolution of altruism. What is needed for altruism toevolve, in the model above, is for the probability of having a partnerof the same type as oneself to be sufficiently larger than theprobability of having a partner of opposite type; this ensures thatthe recipients of altruism have a greater than random chance of beingfellow altruists, i.e., donor-recipient correlation. Whether thiscorrelation arises because partners tend to be relatives, or becausealtruists are able to seek out other altruists and choose them aspartners, or for some other reason, makes no difference to theevolutionary dynamics, at least in this simple example.

Perhaps before I even consider that question, however, I should wonder whether we even can be here to help others: is selflessness really possible.
This seems to be true because there are a number of possible selfish motives to help another person.

Is prosocial behaviour selfish or selfless essay …

The fact that correlation between donor and recipient is the key tothe evolution of altruism can be illustrated via a simple ‘one shot’Prisoner's dilemma game. Consider a large population of organisms whoengage in a social interaction in pairs; the interaction affects theirbiological fitness. Organisms are of two types: selfish (S) andaltruistic (A). The latter engage in pro-social behaviour, thusbenefiting their partner but at a cost to themselves; the former donot. So in a mixed (S,A) pair, the selfish organism does better—hebenefits from his partner's altruism without incurring anycost. However, (A,A) pairs do better than (S,S) pairs—for the formerwork as a co-operative unit, while the latter do not. The interactionthus has the form of a one-shot Prisoner's dilemma, familiar from gametheory. Illustrative payoff values to each ‘player’, i.e., each partnerin the interaction, measured in units of biological fitness, are shownin the matrix below.

It was certainly somewhat of a selfish act because I did not have to worry about feeling guilty for the rest of the day.

which is erroneously called ‘pity’ is not selfless but ..

Trivers (1985) describes an apparent case of reciprocal altruismbetween non con-specifics. On tropical coral reefs, various species ofsmall fish act as ‘cleaners’ for large fish, removingparasites from their mouths and gills. The interaction is mutuallybeneficial—the large fish gets cleaned and the cleaner getsfed. However, Trivers notes that the large fish sometimes appear tobehave altruistically towards the cleaners. If a large fish isattacked by a predator while it has a cleaner in its mouth, then itwaits for the cleaner to leave before fleeing the predator, ratherthan swallowing the cleaner and fleeing immediately. Trivers explainsthe larger fish's behaviour in terms of reciprocal altruism. Since thelarge fish often returns to the same cleaner many times over, it paysto look after the cleaner's welfare, i.e., not to swallow it, even ifthis increases the chance of being wounded by a predator. So thelarger fish allows the cleaner to escape, because there is anexpectation of return benefit—getting cleaned again in thefuture. As in the case of the vampire bats, it is because the largefish and the cleaner interact more than once that the behaviour canevolve.

Only selfless heping is considered altruism. It may be difficult to determine whether helping behavior truly reflects altruism.

prosocial behaviour selfish or selfless essay

The importance of kinship for the evolution of altruism is very widelyaccepted today, on both theoretical and empirical grounds. However,kinship is really only a way of ensuring that altruists and recipientsboth carry copies of the altruistic gene, which is the fundamentalrequirement. If altruism is to evolve, it must be the case that therecipients of altruistic actions have a greater than averageprobability of being altruists themselves. Kin-directed altruism isthe most obvious way of satisfying this condition, but there are otherpossibilities too (Hamilton 1975, Sober and Wilson 1998, Bowles andGintis 2011, Gardner and West 2011). For example, if the gene thatcauses altruism also causes animals to favour a particular feedingground (for whatever reason), then the required correlation betweendonor and recipient may be generated. It is this correlation, howeverbrought about, that is necessary for altruism to evolve. This pointwas noted by Hamilton himself in the 1970s: he stressed that thecoefficient of relationship of his 1964 papers should really bereplaced with a more general correlation coefficient, which reflectsthe probability that altruist and recipient share genes, whetherbecause of kinship or not (Hamilton 1970, 1972, 1975). This point istheoretically important, and has not always been recognized; but inpractice, kinship remains the most important source of statisticalassociations between altruists and recipients (Maynard Smith 1998,Okasha 2002, Westet al. 2007).