The Altruism Instinct

Domain: Altruism – refers to a motive for helping behavior that is primarily intended to relieveanother person’s worriedness, with little or no regard for the helper’s self-interest.

Subdomains with Operational Definition:

  1. Kin Altruism: Kin altruism is a type of natural selection where individuals will sacrifice their ownlives in an effort to save closely related organisms; therefore, ensuring the survival ofgenes that they both share.

Kinship is one of the main organizing principles ofsociety. It is one of the basic social institutions found in every society. This institutionestablishes relationships between individuals and groups. People in all societies arebound together by various kinds of bonds, e.g., family relationship or closeconnection. Once action governed by self-interest is promoted by evolutionaryselection, its extension to kin is inevitable, and this extension is often regarded as theprincipal manifestation of altruism (Foster et al. 2006; Lehmann and Keller, 2006;West et al. 2007).


  • 1. Close kina. Family or Relatives

    Ex. Initiative actions to help relatives.

  • 2. Reciprocal Altruism (Mutualism):

Altruism is motivated by a need to reciprocate a specific act of kindness, or theneed to pay back general kindnesses received over the years. People tend to feelthat it is a necessity to help back someone who have helped them. Helping comeswith an expectation to gain something someday in exchange of the offered help. This idea involves the general principle of social exchange which explains thatpeople use each other to gain rewards and to help protect ourselves from harm thatpeople will terminate or abandon social relationships, and helping is one type ofbenefit that we can provide to others.

For example, situation like two students takenotes for each other in classes that they miss may engage reciprocal altruism. In Axelrod’s (1984) reciprocal altruism simulations, tit-for-tat was the most successful ofthe strategies submitted. Tit-for-tat is “nice,” i.e., cooperating first and in response tocooperation by the other, “provokable,” i.e., responding to defection with defection,”forgiving,” i.e., responding to the resumption of cooperation with cooperation, and”transparent,” i.e., acting in a way readily grasped by others. In the analysis ofreciprocal altruism, it is not genotypic similarity that is critical to altruism, but assorted phenotypic behavior (Fletcher and Zwick 2006; Queller 1985).


  1. Direct reciprocity

    Ex. Helping others if there is a chance that they can and will reciprocate thehelp.

  2. Indirect reciprocity

    Ex. A person with a good reputation for reciprocity has higher chance ofreceiving help even from person they have had no direct interactions withpreviously.

  3. Community Needs (Group-based):

Altruism emerges out of an effort to respond to a group or Community need or isa response to a persistent to the inefficacy of existing social institutions. People tendto sacrifice or help for the benefit of a group. A group solidarity – it’s very importanton responding to a group community needs toward sacrificing by oneself in responseto a societal-level problem.

Human nature has been endowed by evolution withapredisposition towards cooperation, given the right circumstances, with those withwhom we identify. We also live in a context of culture, which provides othermotivations for altruistic action. So human group altruism is supported from both”below” (nature} and “above” (culture). Direct biological support is strong only up tothe scale of small groups, but it still provides a basis for further increasing the scopeof altruism at higher levels. Such biological influences are not specific to humanbeings, but occur in other social primates; evidence exists even for pro-socialbehavior in rodents (Barta et al. 2011).


  1. Small group

  2. Organization

  3. Ethnic groups nations

  4. Followers of the same religion

Every item was written in a statement form and in a “first person perspective. Thetest composed of both positive and negative items, the scoring for positive item wouldbe:

  1. (4) “always ( the item indicates that the person does it 6-7 times a week )”

  2. (3) “often ( the item indicates that the person does it 4-5 times a week )”

  3. (2) “occasionally ( the item indicates that the person does it 2-3 times a week )”

  4. (1) “rarely ( does not do it or do it once a week )”While in the negative items the scoring would opposite,.

Test developers utilizesthe Four-point Likert scale to avoid the central tendency error, where the raters alwaysanswered the middle choice.

This can affect the test developers’ goal to measure thealtruism of adolescence. The developers will use a cumulative scoring. A total score per subdomain will beobtained across all items in the set, and those who will get a low score will be interpretedthat they have a low level of this trait or trait was less frequently observed and those whowill got a high scores will be interpreted that they have a high level of this trait or traitwas more frequently observed.

Phase III: Test Try-Out

The Pilot Testing was done in and outside the University of Makati. The testdevelopers made sure that all the materials and tools are ready and with the guidance of ourprofessors for conducting the test. The developers used purposive sampling technique to gather250 respondents ranging from 18-35. The developers gave a brief information of what a test allabout and they also gave instruction on how to answer the test. The test time frame should onlybe 30-45 minutes.


The administration process of a test has its strength and limitation to discuss inthis section. Identifying the strength and limitations of the test is for future testdevelopers and that needed to be discussed further. Strength for AdministrationThe test can be administered in different settings such as educational, industrial,and clinical settings. The test user can be the test developer or any professionalswho have knowledge about the test. The test used basic English that can be easilyunderstood by the target test taker, and the instruction is clear to be followedproperly.

The test is said to be valid and reliable because of its psychometricproperties that is within the accepted range. LimitationsLimitations The limitations can be the lack of references or sources for thedeveloping of the test, the test can only be used by the test developers andprofessionals who have the knowledge about the test. Some of the limitations for thetest developers are the sudden changes in administrating their test.

It ended upgiving online test to our participants because of the enhance community quarantine,we didn’t see the actual scenario that was supposed to happen face to face betweenthe test developers 

and test takers, and also the limited resources to facilitate ourtest. Not all of the test developers have the right materials (laptop and wifi) tofacilitate the online test to our participants.

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