Defining Altruism Issue

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Defining Altruism Issue essay

In current society it can be justified that the level of autonomy directly influences the amount of altruism an autistic adolescent implements.Defining Altruism- When it comes to the comprehension of socialization within the development of behaviors in adolescents, altruism is vital. Although there is no true altruism, more or less altruism can be determined based upon the involuntary actions and behaviors of an individual. In the vacancy of motivation, altruism can not transpire. An altruist must have the inert belief that the action being carried through is in the best self-interest, and is continuously benefiting them. More than just candidly fostering others is required to induce motivation for definite contribution. In addition to altruistic concern, the choice to act for the betterment of someone else desires such an altruist to have faith that helping is in their own best interest. “If an altruist can obtain benefits from improving another’s welfare that is not outweighed by personnel costs, it is in the altruist’s interest to help and they will tend to do so” (Dovidio et al., 1991).

Having the need to develop the welfare of one measure that the altruist elects to derive pleasure from the advancements of the other’s welfare and will continuously be displeased by the absence of such improvements (Batson & Weeks, 1996). Altruism alone can not motivate caring if the help implies an insufficient, or counter-productive satisfaction for the intention of advancing others welfare(Sibicky et al., 1995). Also, satisfying one altruistic motive often implements dissatisfaction of another. Altruism can be excavated by fostering any seemingly non-correlated beliefs. Particularly, telling people there is no such thing as altruism is an example. Instead, altruism should be pronounced as common and expected. Individuals feel lifted when they witness altruism, (Haidt & Algoe, 2004) and they tend to become more altruistic themselves as a result (Yates, 1999). If the goal is to promote altruism, providing as many attractive altruistic role models as possible, in the social media, and in personal lives is the way to go. Rewarding attempted altruism, or at least celebrating those who attempt to be altruistic is a practice that should become second nature if the goal is to promote as much altruistic behavior as possible. The behavior carried out is to sustain another without anticipation of deserving a reward.

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Though, usually, the intention beneath an action often determines its moral value. This is the thought of there being no true altruism, though that is not a reason the disregard altruism altogether.Altruism in child development- It is a common understanding in child development that children tend to imitate characteristics they find interesting. Yarrow et al (1970) promote the idea that children learn from and imitate others around them with warm and friendly tones rather than cold and distant tones. Yarrow et al (1970) showed that children learn altruistic behavior.Child Altruism & Egocentrism- The investigate of development in skills such as role-taking, and their relation to significant changes in social behavior.

Children reaching a socio-centric development level behave more altruistically in a natural environment than their cognitively more egocentric peers(autism in natural society)Defining Autism(differences)- To define an adolescent on the autistic spectrum an understanding of the differences between an adolescent with the mentality of what is known as an average adolescent, and an adolescent with the mentality of someone on the autistic spectrum must be reached. The disconnect between autistic and typical adolescents relations and interactions are perceived with sharper focus when over time the development of a typical adolescent learns that others have minds like themselves. Exemplifying the specific difference from a developing autistic adolescent who sees the minds of others as unknown. An adolescent on the autistic spectrum sees the cognitive minds of typical adolescents peculiar and between the typical adolescents and the autistic adolescents, a detachment is seen. This is not to say that either is broken in some way, but that the differences between the two being exponential; one is unable to understand the other. The execution of both cross the finish line, yet the process behind the journey before the arrival is unknown and unjustified as well. There are specifics relating the process of autistic adolescents that bring most to the idea that having autism in the societies of our current world induce a type of mindset that leads the idea of an autistic adolescent as being broken. Individuals with autism do not lack the ability to understand another’s mental processes, only those non-correlated with themselves. Non-autistic individuals are one in the same in this way; they do not understand autistic individuals but can understand those compatible with themselves. It seems complicated but it really is not if you think about personal experiences. Consider yourself attempting to understand someone of the opposite sex. It seems impossible for most individuals to understand the working of the mind in the opposite sex, but the understanding between you and someone of the same sex is completely coherent. With this in mind, consider the theory that because there is a misunderstanding with someone of the opposite sex does reduce the misunderstanding down to the simple statement of them being broken or missing some essential piece seem logical.

The same consideration arises when addressing the incomplete connection between autistic individuals and non-autistic individuals.Autism in Child development-Section 2 Claim 1The autonomy of adolescents with autism directly correlates with the social environment they are raised inAutonomy in Autism-Effects of environment ignoring traits of autism-Section 3 Counterclaim 1The independence of an adolescent with autism cannot environmentally be determined or developed, therefore cannot correlate with the level of altruism they haveSection 4 Claim 2The more independent an autistic adolescent is the less altruistic they areHamilton et al Key Study & Critical Thinking- In the study Hamilton et al, it was seen that a deficit in mirror neuron systems might contribute to poor imitation performance in children with autistic spectrum disorders, and might be a cause of poor social abilities in these children. Hamilton aimed to test this hypothesis by examining the performance of 25 children with ASD and 31 typical children of the same verbal mental age on four action representation tasks and a theory of mind battery.

Both typical and autistic children had the same tendency to imitate an adult’s goals, to imitate in a mirror fashion and to imitate grasps in a motor planning task. Children with ASD showed superior performance on a gesture recognition task. These imitation and gesture recognition tasks all rely on the mirror neuron system in typical adults, but performance was not impaired in children with ASD. In contrast, the ASD group were impaired on the theory of mind tasks. These results provide clear evidence against a general imitation impairment and a global mirror neuron system deficit in children with autism.We suggest this data can best be understood in terms of multiple brain systems for different types of imitation and action understanding, and that the ability to understand and imitate the goals of hand actions is intact in children with ASD.Both typical and autistic children had the same tendency to imitate an adult’s goals, to imitate in a mirror fashion and to imitate grasps in a motor planning task. Children with ASD showed superior performance on a gesture recognition task. These imitation and gesture recognition tasks all rely on the mirror neuron system in typical adults, but performance was not impaired in children with ASD.

Though, the ASD group were impaired on the theory of mind tasks. These results provide transparent evidence disregarding a general imitation impairment and a global mirror neuron system deficit in children with autism. It is suggested that this data can best be comprehended in terms of several brain systems for different types of imitation and action comprehension and that the ability to understand and imitate the goals of hand actions is intact in children with ASD.(Hamilton et al) The results of the experiments described in the Hamilton, et. al, seemed not only to suggest that autistics can imitate in certain contexts but that the ability to imitate in particular ways does not necessarily correlate to anything about the ability to infer mental or emotional states.

The experiments did not, in fact, test for “automatic mimicry or emotional imitation abilities”(Hamilton et al) They instead tested for directed imitation of mechanical movements. It is seen that in Hamilton’s study issues of empathy are not seen nor do they go into great detail regarding the possible explanations for poor autistic performance on Theory of Mind tasks. It has been referenced here because the findings do suggest that theories attributing all manifestations of the autistic difference to mirror neuron “dysfunction” show oversimplifications.Mirror Neurons in Autism and Theory of Mind- Marco Iacoboni proposes, “Mirror neurons suggest that we pretend to be in another person’s mental shoes. In fact, with mirror neurons we do not have to pretend, we practically are in another person’s mind.”(Iacoboni) “Since their discovery, mirror neurons have been implicated in a broad range of phenomena, including certain mental disorders.”(Ker Than. LiveScience. April 2005) Mirror neurons may help cognitive scientists explain how children develop a theory of mind, which is a child’s understanding that others have minds similar to their own.

Doing so may help shed light on autism, in which this type of understanding is often missing.Empathy (Jim Sinclair)- “Empathy” is a nebulous term that is often used to mean projection of one’s own feelings onto others; it is therefore much easier to “empathize” with (i.e., to understand the feelings of) someone whose ways of experiencing the world are similar to one’s own than to understand someone whose perceptions are very different. “If empathy means being able to understand a perspective that is different from one’s own, then it is not possible to determine how much empathy is present between persons without first having an adequate understanding of each person’s perspective and of how different those perspectives are from each other”.(Jim Sinclair) “People tend to assume that others’ minds work similarly to their own, which differs from having an ability to simulate and understand another person’s state of mind without explicit information about it.”(Jim Sinclair)Empathy and Altruism- “As people mature, they can use an increasingly sophisticated set of processes to help them understand other people’s subjective experiences. Although important differences between such processes exist, ’empathy’ is often used as an umbrella term for them. The greater people’s ability to empathize, the greater their potential to be altruistic.””Social skills training that improves people’s empathizing abilities (Stepien & Baernstein, 2006) therefore also tend to improve their ability to be altruistic.””Empathy allows individuals to appreciate the world from someone else’s point of view. If empathizers identify with those they empathize with, they are likely to become sympathetic (H??kansson & Montgomery, 2003).”The more independent an adolescent is the less connected they are to empathize or sympathize. Moral concerns tend to prescribe caring about the welfare of others, this too can lead to altruism. (Carlo et al., 1996)

Morality-inspired altruism is more often paternalistic than sympathy-inspired altruism. Empathy promotes altruism mainly because empathy promotes sympathetic or other-regarding moral concerns.Section 5 Counterclaim 2Independence does not correlate with their empathy/sympathy levelsKey Study- UC San Diego, Autism Linked To Mirror Neuron Dysfunction:The UC San Diego team aimed to investigate the relationship between individuals with autism and dysfunctional mirror neuron systems contribution to impairments of autismThe researchers collected EEG data in 10 males with autism spectrum disorders who were considered “high-functioning” (defined as having age-appropriate verbal comprehension and production and IQs above 80) and 10 age- and gender-matched control subjects. The EEG data were analyzed for mu rhythm suppression. Mu rhythm, a human brain-wave pattern, is suppressed or blocked when the brain is engaged in doing, seeing or imagining action, and correlates with the activity of the mirror neuron system. In most people, the mu wave is suppressed both in response to their own movement and to observing the movement of others. Subjects were tested while they moved their own hands and while they watched videos of visual white noise (baseline), of bouncing balls (non-biologic motion) and of a moving hand.

As expected, mu wave suppression was recorded in the control subjects both when they moved and when they watched another human move. In other words, their mirror neuron systems acted normally. The mirror neurons of the subjects with autism spectrum disorders, however, responded anomalously, only to their own movement. The findings provide evidence that individuals with autism have a dysfunctional mirror neuron system, which may contribute to many of their impairments, especially those that involve comprehending and responding appropriately to others’ behavior. Though this does not actually prove that autistic brains are actually “dysfunctional” to begin with; it merely demonstrates an observation of the difference in functionality between autistic and nonautistic cognition. Any attempt made to explain why mu waves might not be suppressed in autistics when those subjects viewed the moving hand would state that the autistic subjects were simply processing the data in their environment differently.Section 6 ConclusionIn concluding the previous writing into the investigation in the ways the role of autonomy in autistic adolescents shapes the development of altruistic behaviors, it has become clear that the level of autonomy in an autistic adolescent directly affects the level of altruism the adolescent displays. The implementation of the social environment affecting one’s autonomy and ones autonomy correlating with lower levels of altruism, continue to justify the thesis.Section 7 Furthering ResearchMeasuring altruism- The measurement of altruistic behaviors is subjective and hard to measure but is seen on a spectrum of more or less.Is altruism voluntary? Can we recognize it when we are doing it?Challenges within altruism include, altruism will not occur in the absence of sufficient motive, means, and opportunity.Can you ever really identify or empathize with someone similar to yourself without being somewhat dependent on them?

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Defining Altruism Issue. (2019, Oct 24). Retrieved from