What is Altruism?

Altruism is something people do from there heart.  However, they do not look for anything in return.   Altruism is another word for “a random act of kindness”.  The story that was chosen is about a six-year-old boy by the name of Dylan. Every day, he would bring an extra lunch to school for another boy, whom he thought did not have any money for lunches. The definition of altruism will be examined as well as the act itself being explored.

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Psychological altruism refers to the behavior that benefits others with no regard to the giver. Altruistic behavior is a constant choice a person makes every day. Examples of this, would be giving money to someone on the street, helping the elderly across the street, and putting others before yourself and acting is an unselfish manner. (Fiske, 2014)

Dylan, who is in grammar school, shows the world true altruism at an early age by sharing his lunch with someone that the thinks is less fortune than himself.  Hopefully, the other kids will see his example and be willing to follow Dylan example.  Now, if this starts at an early age, imagine what will happen in Dylan’s life as he gets older and wiser. (“Cbs News”(2018)

The Act in Terms of Social Exchange, Social Responsibility, and Reciprocity Theory

After examining the article a little more closely, it is easy to see that Dylan is displaying social responsibility. This indicates that Dylan has an ethical upbringing. In this case, Dylan has shown that by feeling that he has a duty to help a friend at school have a decent meal, it only promotes a productive society but as well as a productive economy. Dylan helped provide a meal for someone, which in turn helps that child’s growth, development, and learning abilities. According to Edwards, Mauch, & Winkelman (2011), in the Midwest, students who has a healthy breakfast in the morning also had higher MAP math tests scores. When children like Dylan offered to provide a meal for a child, it gave that child a better chance to perform at the best of his abilities; academically, physically, and even socially.

The Concepts of Social Psychology such as Group Influence, Persuasion, Cognitive Dissonance, or Self in the Social World

Altruism is a powerful form of coping; like a coping machine, altruism helps you deal with issues in a way that projects your problems on to others. In a way, you persuade others that your problems are their problems and you want to make them happy which in turn, makes you happy. This is exactly what Dylan did. Dylan persuaded his mother to pack him an extra lunch; in effect, he wanted the extra lunch for a child in school who could not afford it. By persuading his mom to pack two lunches, he felt a sense of joy because he could bring happiness to someone else. In the fact that Dylan could not persuade his mom to make two lunches, he would have experienced guilt, consequently, his mom would have felt guilt once she found out why Dylan wanted two lunches.


Random acts of kindness are things that are not seen too much anymore. Altruism is the selfless concern for the well-being of others. In the article chosen, a little boy asked his mother to pack him two lunches every day for school. When his mother asked why he needed them, he shared that the other was for another little boy. This little boy only had a fruit cup for lunch every day. Acts like this are beautiful and heartwarming. The fact that it came from a child just makes it that much better. I think we need a little more kindness in the world. Altruism affects the world cyclically; when someone helps a friend, a neighbor, a coworker, those gestures are reciprocated and even makes others want to continue the trend and helps someone. Altruism is not just a being kind. It can be lifesaving.


  1. CBS News(2018). Retrieved from http://http:www.cbsnews.com/pictures/stories-fro-2016-that-will-restore-your-faith-in-humanity/6/
  2. Edwards, J. U., Mauch, L., & Winkelman, M. R. (2011). Relationship of nutrition and physical activity behaviors and fitness measures to academic performance for sixth graders in a midwest city school district. Journal of School Health, 81(2), 65-73.
  3. Fiske, S. T. (2014). Social beings: Core motives in social psychology (3rd ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.
  4. Perceptions and definitions of social responsibility http://inni.pacinst.org/inni/corporate_social_responsibility/standards_defi p.1
  5. McLeod, S. (1971). Journal of applied social psychology, European Journal of Social Psychology, Retrieved from https://simply psychology
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