Altruistic Personality Scale

Table of contents

Altruism Scale is purposely designed to measure altruistic tendency by gauging thefrequency an individual engages in altruistic acts primarily toward his social setting andinteract. Based from the Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis of Daniel Batson (1987), thisscale includes the concept of empathic concern as it is believed to elicit an approachorientation toward others in need and to facilitate pro-social behavior (e.g., Batson 1991;Stocks et al. 2009).

The objective of the test is to assess the helping and volunteeringtendency in personality. The person taking Altruism Scale will encounter 75 altruismrelated statements and every item was written in a statement form and in a “first personperspective”. Each altruism related statements will be classified into one of the fourcategories in four-point Likert scale type that is based on how frequently is the behaviorapplicable in each statement:

  • (4) “always” ,
  • (3) “often”,
  • (2) “occasionally” and
  • (1) “rarely”.

The responses for this test will be scored through cumulative scoring. A total score persubdomain will be obtained across all items in the set, and those who will get a lowscore will be interpreted that they have a low level of this trait or trait was less frequentlyobserved and those who will got a high scores will be interpreted that they have a highlevel of this trait or trait was more frequently observed.

Test Audience

  • Test taker

Our test takers are the Filipino Young adulthood ranging 18 – 35 years of age(Based on Erik-Erikson Psychosocial Stages). This stage which is intimacy vs isolationcovers the period of Young adulthood where people are exploring personal relationships. Those who are successful at this step will form relationships that are enduring andsecure. Altruism on the other hand on this stage have found to be more common informing close relationships with others.

It is marked by the ability to form lasting,meaningful relationships with other people. In regards with this, Filipinos are known to be generous and willing to givewithout seeking for recognition. It said that our reactions to others are influenced ofaltruistic approach not only by our genetic relationship to them but also by theirperceived similarity to us. (Dovidio et al., 1997; Krupp, De Bruine, & Barclay, 2008).

  • Test user

Our test user could be school personnel who are under the development ofstudent characters. This can be a Guidance counselor who has a bigger role in shapingthe moral values. This test can be used to assess students who are aspiring to becomea peer facilitator that can help their fellow students that encounter struggles andemotional crisis that can be related to their personal, family or academic life.

This testmay help the counselor to determine the qualified students to be trained in peerfacilitation. This test may be applicable to organizations or foundations who are in needfor qualified volunteers to work with them in their charity and programs. Through thisaltruism scale, the willingness and enthusiasm of an aspiring volunteer is measured tobe able to qualify whether they are engaged to help others in need.

II. Test Administration

This test can be administered by using pen-paper procedure. The testing placeshould be in normal conditions: proper ventilation, with good lighting and comfortablesitting arrangement and free from noise. It can be administered by groups or individually. The test developers will start by explaining what the test measures and what it indicates. Afterwards, the answer sheets and instruction on filling out the required personalinformation will be given and the questions will be entertained.

The scale will be thenexplained according to their corresponding frequency of occurrence. After which the questionnaire will be given. The test taker should be reminded tostart only when they are told to do so. The test takers should also be reminded that theaccuracy of their test results would be based upon the accuracy of their answers. Theprivacy and confidentiality of their answers should also be emphasized. Finally, the testtakers will be asked if they have further questions and concerns.

The question will beentertained until everything is clear. Moreover, the test takers should be informed thatthis test has no time constrain. Only then the go signal will be given an the timer willstart.. The test protocol must also be checked for skips and ambiguous responses andmust be addressed right away. The test taker can be asked how the test was; then thetest administration can be dismissed.

Norming and Scoring

The developers use a cumulative scoring. A total score are obtained across allitems in the set, and those who will get a low score will be interpreted that they havealow level of this trait or trait was less frequently observed and those who will got a highscores will be interpreted that they have a high level of this trait or trait was morefrequently observed. The scoring can be accomplished either by hand or a gadget tool. The items arescaled by measuring the frequency of behavior using a four-point Likert Scale whichincludes four categories, ranging from Always, Often, Occasionally and Rarely. TestDevelopers make a score sheet. There is a table where the scores will be plotted.

Testusers will sum the values of each item and Put the total values in the total scores thatcan be seen in the end of end part of scoring sheet. After getting the score, write itscorresponding equivalent stanine that can be seen in tableInterpretationTo be able to come up for this interpretation, the developers were able to gatherdata through researched theories and studies. Those data are accumulated to come upwith the development of the construct and its subdomains. The gathered theories andresearch were rigorously examined by the developers to come up with the interpretationas listed below.

The interpretation will determine the level of altruism tendency of thetest-taker. This test will be useful to the developers in order to determine the profile of thetest-taker. The test takers will be able to evaluate and improve their helping behavior andunselfishness experience towards others. This test will serve as beneficial to ascertainvolunteerism and pro-social behavior to people in workplace, schools or organizations inable qualify if they highly acquire altruism that will be applicable in maintaining welfareand care with their community such as:Altruism is related to the Big Five Personality traits which generally influence thebehavior.

It has been found that positive personality traits of an individual dominate tohigher altruistic values. Individuals who have a positive mood are more likely to be awareof the events going on around themselves and offer help to those in need (Tekeş andHasta, 2015). “Stronger extraversion and agreeableness traits are detected in highlyaltruistic individuals, and also conscientiousness traits of highly altruistic participantswere higher than those with medium or low level of altruistic values.” (Argan & Argan,2017). Also, in regards with openness, higher altruistic values are possessed in bothprogressive and conservative personality traits.

Another research shows that it is unsurprising that altruism is highly correlatedto agreeableness, since people who score high tend to be more friendly, warm andinterested in people. In other hand, research suggests that leaders who score high, tendto be more successful at work (Furnham, 2008). Another study point out that a somepeople are more likely to help healthy individual than those who exhibit abnormal socialbehavior.

Other research state that “People with low levels of the agreeableness havebeen found to exhibit higher levels of ‘dark triad’ traits, a series of characteristics withnegative associations, including Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy”(Jakobwitz and Egan, 2006). High altruism can also increase positivity and can improve mental health andphysical well-being. Studies have found that volunteers tend to live longer and oftenhave better physical health than non-volunteers. Also, the positive energy that you feelafter doing good deed to others can act on your body because endorphins are releasedand it makes us feel good naturally (Carter, 2014).

Helping others can also givemeaningful roles that boost self-esteem, mood and purpose of life, which in turn canenhance mental and physical health (Poulin & Dillard, 2013). Altruism in educational setting can improve connection and social welfaretowards others. The students who get high levels of altruism tend to get this aspects ofaltruism, according to Choen (in Staub, 1996) :

Giving behaviors, which is beneficialfor others who receive or are subjected to treatments with the aim to meet the needs ordesires of others; among students, this is shown by the act helping other studentswhen they are having difficulties in understanding school lessons; Empathy, which is theability to know and understanding the feelings of others, and to participate in thestruggle of life as well as to be aware of others’ needs of feelings and interests; empathymakes students consider moral values.

High empathy will make the students able to feelwhat others feel; and Voluntary, which is the lack of desires to get any rewards, only forthe interests of others. Helping others can also give meaningful roles that boost self-esteem, mood and purpose of life, which in turn can enhance mental and physical health(Poulin & Dillard, 2013). Hence applying this concept in the school will develop healthyand good atmosphere to develop the altruism ‭ among students.

With the school‭altruism all ‭ school members will have a helping collective mind set, it will make theschool rules run consistently for guiding/ensuring the happiness of all school citizens.‭Altruism in the workplace can noticeably influence happiness, healthysocialization and better performance. Helping others at work or being altruistic cancontribute to one’s own well-being at work. Scientists call this the “helper’s high”. Whenwe give and engage in acts of kindness, the “pleasure” and social attachment centers ofthe brain are activated. In fact, studies show that the “helper’s high” appears to act as anantidote to the stress response in the giver. (Nikita Singh, June 17, 2018).

Extremely Low level of Altruism ( 85-111 ) – people with very low altruism areperceived as tough, uncommunicative and materialistic. They tend to be assertive,confrontational, direct and outspoken. On the other hand, very low scorers of altruismseems to acquire a high levels of “dark triad” a set of characteristics with negative bondsuch as narcissism and psychopathy. Low level of Altruism ( 112-155 ) – people with low level of altruism often avoid others,become self-reliant in a situation under pressure. They seem self-centered person,inconsiderate and not helping others who usually decide only for themselves.

Lowscorers on altruism, on the other hand, were more likely to be seen as tough andclosemouthed. Average level of Altruism ( 156-198 ) – people with average level of altruism are pro-active person. They don’t wait for the perfect opportunities to be selfless on others andfeel good after helping someone. They possess and display a healthy degree of self-confidence. In terms of decision making they are just and fair. High level of Altruism ( 199-221 ) – people who scored high on this test excel ineverything they do.

They are friendly, warm and interested in people. They put othersfirst not because they think others are less deserving but simply because they areinnately thoughtful and prefer to prioritize others. They have simply decided to makeasacrifice to help relieve the suffering of their fellow human beings. Extremely High level of Altruism ( 222-295 ) – people who score very high on this testhave a stronger sense of connection to other people with more empathy andcompassion, also they become more appreciative of life and feel a powerful sense ofcontentment.

At the same time, they have a strong general impulse to do what is right touphold universal moral principles, resulting unconditional altruism. Phase I: Test ConceptualizationThe construct is all about Positive trait which is Altruism that refers to a motivefor helping behavior that is primarily intended to relieve another person’s distress, withlittle or no regard for the helper’s self-interest. Altruistic help is voluntary, deliberate, andmotivated by concern for another person’s welfare.

Altruism derives from the Latin alter,that is other, and was used for the first time in the nineteenth century by Comte (Paul etal. 1993), described as a devotion to the interests of others as an action guidingprinciple, implying the elimination of selfish desire and of egocentrism (Irwin 2000). Comte did not deny that people often help for selfish reasons. However, he still claimedthat there are times when people are motivated by altruism and help with the sole aim ofbenefitting the person in need (Batson et al., 2011). From the concept mentioned above, the definition of altruism in this constructwas derived from Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis of Daniel Batson (1987).

Theempathy–altruism hypothesis states that empathic concern (other-oriented emotionalresponse elicited by and congruent with the perceived welfare of someone in need)produces altruistic motivation (a motivational state with the ultimate goal of reducing thatneed). The empathy-altruism hypothesis claims that empathic concern felt for a personin need produces altruistic motivation to relieve that need. Empathic concern is other-oriented in that it involves feeling for the other.

It includes feelings of sympathy,compassion, tenderness, and the like. Empathic concern is believed to elicit anapproach orientation toward others in need and to facilitate pro-social behavior (e.g.,Batson 1991; Stocks et al. 2009). Individuals as a social being exhibit emotionalresponse of concern when witnessing someone in need. Batson cleared in his writings that his concept of emphatic concern is notcorrelated with the emphatic accuracy or with feeling as another person feels. Batsonpointed out that his definition of altruism is inclined with psychological altruism(motivation with the ultimate goal of increasing another’s welfare) rather that evolutionaryaltruism (behavior that reduces one’s reproductive fitness).

The core theory of empathy-altruism hypothesis is the value-extension theory (Batson, 1990, 2011; Nussbaum,2001); it claims that humans are, indeed, capable of valuing more than their ownwelfare. There is an existing scale called Altruism Personality Scale made by Rushton,J. P. et. al, It is a 20-item scale designed to measure altruistic tendency by gauging thefrequency one engages in altruistic acts primarily toward strangers. The benefits of altruistic behavior are supported by a model provided byLyubomirsky, Sheldon, and Schkade (2005), who argue that the most promising meansof altering our happiness levels is through intentional activity.

By intentional activity, theymean specific actions or practices that are voluntary and require a degree of effort. Theyplace intentional activity into three categories: behavioral, cognitive, and volitional. Sometypes of behavioral acts are linked with well-being, such as trying to be kind to otherpeople (Keltner &Bonanno, 1997; Magen &Aharoni, 1991). Cognitive activities can alsoincrease well-being, such as reframing our circumstances to view them more positivelyor pausing to create awareness of our good fortune and count our blessings (Emmons&McCullough, 2003; King, 2001; Seligman, 1991).

Volitional activities can also increasewell-being, like when we devote effort to achieve our important personal goals (Sheldon& Houser-Marko, 2001) or towards meaningful causes (Snyder & Omoto, 2001). Altruistic activity improves happiness because it encompasses all three types ofintentional activity that have been linked to improved well-being – altruism is volitionalbehavior that influences our cognition.

Phase II: Test Construction

The test developers gathered information from the origin of the constructchosen which is the “altruism” and how it evolved and became applicable up to this timeby using the different references that tackles about Positive Psychology and traits underof it. Until developers came up with the construct of altruism and it’s subscale. Thesubscales were determined according to the altruistic component it manifest to thesocietal behavior. The items are developed through statements with a supporting relatedliterature for each sub domains.

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