Prosocial Behavior and Aggression

Prosocial behavior between animals. Retrieved from

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always been called “such a kind person”, because I help people and stand by their sides when they need it most… or so they thought! My family, friends, and partner say that I’ve got a pure heart, and the desire to help another person without getting anything in return -which is what we call Altruism in Social Psychology. However, I don’t believe I’m as nice as they say I am. I actually think that it’s all about the norm of reciprocity. I expect that when I help someone, I’ll get the same help if not more in return, later on. Mainly, though, the reason why I like helping people so much, especially listening to them -which is of course, a form of help, is empathy. I put myself in people’s shoes all the time. What would’ve happened if that was me? I would want someone to help me. What would’ve happened if someone bullied me like that? I would want someone to protect and defend me. This has always been the #1 reason why protecting and teaching bullied children is the purpose to why I exist in this world.

The empathy-altruism hypothesis suggests that feeling empathy for a person means that I’m purely altruistic. In all ways, I do not believe that. Perhaps¬†I want to help the person because I’m afraid that something similar might happen to me, and I’m so religious that I believe that when I do something as such, God will prevent something like that of occurring.


So, am I just a selfish person who likes to be seen as kind and sincere, or do I have an altruistic personality with characteristics that causes me to help people in different situations, no matter what?

The following video is a masterpiece. It’s about prosocial behavior and how the Earth would have been a much better place with more people like those included:

The actions done in this video clearly illustrate how people encourage prosocial behavior, just by making the first step toward it. The worker right in the beginning of the video began the whole cycle by helping the kid that fell off his skateboard up and staying to make sure that he was fine.

Stop being such a fun-wrecker and do as we say!

I had just broken up with my boyfriend when I sat down with a few friends of mine, each holding her own¬†cigarette¬†in her hand. I never minded it at first, always shrugged my shoulders at it. However, sooner than later conformity kicked in. Curious at first, yes, but now very tempted to try. I usually took a breath or two while lighting his cigarette for him, but never more. He wouldn’t let me, and it didn’t taste that good anyway. But within a group full of smokers, the idea slid into my head like the seductive snake it was. I looked at Allaa and her slims and motioned for her to give me one. “Hayatiii,” she said, and handed me the whole pack. I took one and lit it for myself, and I didn’t get up until I’ve had about four.


On my way back home on the bus, I thought to myself, “Did I¬†simply¬†just want to try how smoking was like, or is it really¬†normative social influence?” I was rather confused, more or less blaming myself and feeling guilty for doing something I never really believed in -possibly just to fit in. When I was close to finishing my ride, it occurred to me that I was experiencing¬†public compliance, whereby I publicly agreed to a behavior, literally adapting it to myself, while I disagreed to it privately -within my own¬†social¬†perception.


Other forms of conformity are quite harmless sometimes, even funny actually.¬†Empathetic¬†illnesses¬†are common within married couples, especially those with a pregnant wife! You tend to notice how the husband greatly feels for her to the point that he himself suddenly and rapidly has back pains and tons of cramps through out the 9 months. In¬†social psychology, we have a term for such cases. It’s called¬†mass psychogenic illness, whereby an individual exhibits signs of physical pain without any factors affecting his/her organs.

A husband feeling for his wife’s pain while she’s in labor.
Alec Baldwin rubs and stretches his back as he steps out with heavily pregnant wife Hilaria, after she passes her due date.
So sweet!


There are several examples of conformity that I could bring up, but only two have always captured my attention.


They’re a minority, thus they’re weird, thus they’re different, thus they’re evil, thus we’ve ALL got to hate on them.¬†Social influence¬†plays a great role in this area, where a behavior of an individuals influences another and while it does, the¬†injunctive norm¬†of hating on homosexuals is what gets people to perceive such a behavior as correct. If it were up to the¬†minority influence, I would have been able to prove those people wrong and lose¬†idiosyncrasy credits¬†while doing so -which works best in my favor, raising my¬†self-esteem¬†up to the ceiling like Tom and Jerry’s head bruises!

However, if you were to ask any of those conformists about WHY they’re conforming, they’ll completely deny it,¬†automatic thinking¬†gushing to their rescue -using the¬†fundamental attribution error, as well as their¬†defense mechanisms. “Why would I confirm? This is my own belief, my own mind, my own opinion.”


Remember that phase Egypt went through about two-three years ago? Colored bangs with a bow stuck to it, severely dark make-up, band t-shirts, black nail polish, and converse shoes. It was a true example of conformity at the time. I was a victim, even! It couldn’t be less funny right now, reminiscing how I was typically going with the flow of everyone else’s waves. Give me a P, a U, a B, an L, an I, a C -Give me the¬†rest?!¬†Public¬†COMPLIANCE!

Typical emo girl.
It all started with someone wanting to look different, and then EVERYBODY wanted to look just as different. Such a funny coincidence. ūüôā

And now, for the best kind of conformity…



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Dove: Thought Before Action ~ In Class Assignment

Dove, disguising their awareness message by a Photoshop Action-Beautify campaign, reverting the standards of beauty that media portrays.

Amira Kamel (1,2) Bassant Bahaa (3,4,5) Farah Taher (6,7) Yasmin Ouf (8,9)

What are the negative behaviors presented?

Manipulation of beauty, stereotyping beauty as skinny girls with utterly clear skins.

What are the attitudes presented in the video that lead to these behaviors?

Beauty being a specific image.

Media portraying beauty in a certain way (retouched).

Wrecking the self-esteem of women by what media considers “beautiful”.

Affective component: Disappointing and despairing women for not having the claimed perfect shape.

Behavioral component: Photo-shopping the images of women and creating non-existing beauty.

Cognitive component: Manipulation of the audience’s perception, causing women’s dissatisfaction of their beauty, causing low self-esteem.

In the video, HOW do they go about changing the negative attitudes and behaviors? By focusing on A, B, or C? Many? Give details.

They focused on behaviorally-based attitude, to change negative behaviors, by viewing how media perceives beauty and how they refine it to fit their standards.

What strategies do they use and routes do they target to change the attitudes?

They wanted to change people’s attitudes toward how women should look to be considered ‘beautiful’. The main propagators of that ideology are those who actually make them look like that, in this case, the designers. Therefore they decided to dupe them into downloading an action which should have made their work easier for them, and instead made them pay attention to the message they wanted to send.
It’s a brilliant strategy, making them actively take part in it via downloading it, and it sends the message clearly. Unlike commercials or articles, once it happens to someone, they should stop and think, or at least laugh about it, instead of ignoring it like they normally would.

Do you think their choices were effective? Why or why not?

I believe their choices where pretty effective. I think the technique they used to show they target audience (media people and designers) and the people watching the video that they are wrong was very creative. Also I thought they should have concentrated more on changing their ‚ÄėC‚Äô more than their behavior. The main reason their technique was effective is because they were thinking from the perspective of the media people (a). Media people do not usually think of the consequences of their behavior , but dove was able to send that message to them in a straightforward manner

What would you do differently to make the video more effective?

I would probably include how the media people reacted to the video , this would have a greater influence on the audience and would affect their attitude towards this issue. Since media people are sources of authorities in all these fields (design and TV, etc.) If they change their attitude, people are more likely to change theirs.