by Dr Howard Ryland and reviewed by Dr Stephanie Young


Learning outcomes:


This module will consider what altruism is, what motivates people to behave in an altruistic way, mechanisms for social exchange and how helping relationships develop.


To do this the module will draw on many different schools of thought, including empiricist philosophy, evolutionary sociobiology, rational economics and game theory.


By the end of the module, you should be able to:


  • explain different definitions and conceptualisations of altruism


  • describe the key motivational elements that can be used to explain altruistic behaviour


  • list the principal approaches to studying interpersonal cooperation, including philosophical, psychological, economic, social, evolutionary and neuroscientific perspectives


  • explain the basic principles that underlie social exchange theory.


Start the module

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