Attitudes Toward Altruism or Selfishness among Boys and Girls Depending upon Virtual or Real Communication Preferences

Attitudes Toward Altruism or Selfishness among Boys and Girls Depending upon Virtual or Real Communication Preferences

Kashirskaya, I.K.

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Received: 05/30/2023
Accepted: 06/15/2023
DOI: 10.11621/nicep.2023.0405

Published: New Ideas in Child Education and Psychology, Volume 3, Issue 1-2, 2023, pages 81-92

To cite this article:

Kashirskaya, I.K. (2023). Attitudes Toward Altruism or Selfishness among Boys and Girls Depending upon Virtual or Real Communication Preferences. New Ideas in Child and Educational Psychology, 3 (1-2), 81-92. DOI: 10.11621/nicep.2023.0405

Abstract

Background. Altruism as a psychological phenomenon is being actively studied by social scientists, but there is still no agreed-upon understanding of its nature and content. We understand altruism as the opposite of egoism, but as a complementary, not contradictory, phenomenon. Communication in virtual space (i.e., social networks) develops the cognitive and emotional components of altruism, but makes it difficult for users to form a behavioral component; in situations of real interaction, young people often do not have the skills to provide effective assistance to another person.

Objective. The aim of this empirical study was to identify the gender characteristics of egoism-altruism attitudes among high school students who prefer a digital environment, compared to those high school students engaged in different types of activities with real human interaction.

Design. The study used a questionnaire, a method for diagnosing attitudes toward altruism or egoism by O.F. Potemkina, and Chen's scale of Internet addiction. The sample consisted of 120 people, comprised of 57 boys and 46 girls. The hypotheses were tested using qualitative analysis and methods of mathematical statistics (Fisher's criterion).

Results. The majority of young men who preferred real communication had a desire to help other people, an altruistic attitude fixed as a moral principle and an internalized social norm. Since they were active people, accustomed to making independent decisions and taking responsibility for their actions, they could take responsibility for other people, provide care, and protect them. The young men who preferred virtual communication had reduced social activity. They were not ready to help others, believing that problems would be resolved by themselves; they had a weakly expressed motive of social duty and social responsibility. They were selfish, and as a result, they were not capable of altruistic behavior. The girls, on the other hand, expressed attitudes toward altruism-egoism in a different proportion than the boys. Those who preferred real communication showed a desire to help others. But among them there were quite a number who turned out to be egoists – that is, they put their own interests above those of other people, preferring to satisfy their own needs first. Almost all the girls who preferred virtual communication demonstrated an attitude of selfishness. They didn't want to take responsibility, intervene in other people's lives, or change something for others’ betterment.

Conclusion. Significant differences between boys and girls in their orientations toward different types of communication were revealed – i.e., girls were more focused on virtual communication. Boys and girls showed significant differences in attitudes toward altruism or selfishness depending on their preferences for different types of communication. The majority of young men who preferred real communication had a desire to help other people. Almost all the girls who preferred virtual communication demonstrated an attitude of selfishness. Significant differences in attitudes toward altruism and selfishness between boys and girls have been revealed. There were more altruists among boys than among girls.

Keywords Altruism egoism real communication virtual communication Internet addiction gender
Highlights
  • Communication in virtual space (i.e., social networks) develops the cognitive and emotional components of altruism, but makes it difficult to form a behavioral component; in situations of real interaction, young people do not have the skills to provide effective assistance to another person.
  • The majority of young men who preferred real communication had a desire to help other people, an altruistic attitude fixed as a moral principle and an internalized social norm.
  • The young men who preferred virtual communication had reduced social activity and a weakly expressed motive of social duty and social responsibility; they were selfish, and as a result, they were not capable of altruistic behavior.
  • The girls who preferred real communication showed a desire to help others, exhibiting an attitude of altruism, but among them there were quite a number who turned out to be egoists.
  • Almost all the girls who preferred virtual communication demonstrated an attitude of selfishness.
Аннотация

Актуальность. Альтруизм как психологический феномен активно изучается социальными науками, но единства в понимании его природы и содержания до сих пор нет. Мы понимаем альтруизм как противоположность эгоизму, но как не противоречащие, а дополняющие друг друга явления. Общение в виртуальном пространстве, в социальных сетях развивает когнитивный и эмоциональный компоненты альтруизма, но затрудняет формирование поведенческого компонента; в ситуациях реального взаимодействия молодые люди не обладают навыками оказания действенной помощи другому человеку.

Цель. Целью эмпирического исследования было выявление гендерных особенностей установок на эгоизм-альтруизм у старшеклассников, предпочитающих цифровую среду по сравнению со старшеклассниками, занимающимися разными видами деятельности в условиях реального взаимодействия.

Дизайн. В работе использовались анкетирование и методика диагностики установки на альтруизм или эгоизм О.Ф.Потемкиной, а также методика интернет-зависимости Чена. Выборка состояла из 120 человек, из них 57 юношей и 46 девушек.

Вывод. У большинства юношей, предпочитающих реальное общение, выражено стремление оказывать помощь другим людям, закреплена альтруистическая установка как моральный принцип, как интериоризированная общественная норма. Так как они являются активными действующими субъектами и привыкли принимать самостоятельные решения и отвечать за свои поступки, они могут брать ответственность и за других людей, заботиться о них, защищать их. У юношей, предпочитающих виртуальное общение, социальная активность понижена. Они не готовы помогать другим, считая, что все разрешится само собой, у них слабо выражен мотив социального долга и социальной ответственности. Они эгоистичны, и как следствие – мало способны к альтруистическому поведению. У девушек с разными формами общения установки на альтруизм-эгоизм выражены в другой пропорции, чем у юношей. Девушки, предпочитающие реальное общение, проявляют желание оказывать помощь другим. Но среди них довольно много и тех, кто оказался эгоистами, то есть они ставят свои интересы выше интересов других людей, предпочитают в первую очередь удовлетворять собственные потребности. Почти все девушки, предпочитающие виртуальное общение, продемонстрировали установку на эгоизм. Они не хотят брать ответственность на себя, не хотят вмешиваться в жизнь других людей, что-то менять для них в лучшую сторону.

Ключевые слова Альтруизм эгоизм реальное общение виртуальное общение интернет-зависимость гендер
Ключевые положения
  • Общение в виртуальном пространстве, в социальных сетях развивает когнитивный и эмоциональный компоненты альтруизма, но затрудняет формирование поведенческого компонента; в ситуациях реального взаимодействия молодые люди не обладают навыками оказания эффективной помощи другому человеку.
  • У большинства молодых людей, предпочитающих реальное общение, есть желание помогать другим людям, альтруистическое отношение закреплено как моральный принцип, как интернализованная социальная норма.
  • Молодые люди, предпочитающие виртуальное общение, обладают сниженной социальной активностью, у них слабо выражен мотив социального долга и социальной ответственности; они эгоистичны и, как следствие, не способны на альтруистическое поведение.
  • Девушки, предпочитающие реальное общение, проявляют желание помогать другим, у них альтруистическая позиция, но среди них довольно много тех, кто оказался эгоистами.
  • Почти все девушки, предпочитающие виртуальное общение, продемонстрировали эгоистичную позицию.
Resumen

Introducción. El altruismo como un fenómeno psicológico es estudiado activamente por las ciencias sociales, pero todavía no hay unidad en la comprensión de su naturaleza y contenido. Entendemos el altruismo como lo opuesto al egoísmo, pero no como fenómenos contradictorios, sino complementarios. La comunicación en el espacio virtual y en las redes sociales desarrolla componentes cognitivos y emocionales del altruismo, pero dificulta la formación del componente conductual; en situaciones de interacción real, los jóvenes carecen de habilidades para brindar ayuda efectiva a otra persona.

Objetivo. El objetivo de la investigación empírica fue identificar las características específicas de género de las actitudes hacia el egoísmo o altruismo en los estudiantes de secundaria que prefieren el entorno digital en comparación con los estudiantes de secundaria que se dedican a diversas actividades en interacción real.

Diseño. En el trabajo se utilizaron un cuestionario y un método para diagnosticar actitudes hacia el altruismo o el egoísmo de O. F. Potemkina y el método de adicción a Internet de Chen. La muestra consistió en 120 personas, 57 de las cuales eran hombres jóvenes y 46 eran mujeres jóvenes.

Conclusión. Para la mayoría de los hombres jóvenes que prefieren la comunicación real, es pronunciado el deseo de proveer ayuda a otras personas, y el altruismo se expresa como un principio moral, como una norma social interiorizada. Debido a que son actores activos, acostumbrados a tomar sus propias decisiones y asumir la responsabilidad de sus propias acciones, pueden responsabilizarse de otras personas, cuidarlas y protegerlas. Los hombres jóvenes que prefieren la comunicación virtual tienen la actividad social disminuida. No están dispuestos a ayudar a los demás, creyendo que todo se resolverá por sí solo, tienen la motivación de deber social y responsabilidad social débilmente expresada. Son egoístas, y como resultado, son poco capaces de un comportamiento altruista. En las mujeres jóvenes con diferentes formas de comunicación, la actitud hacia el altruismo o egoísmo se expresa en una proporción diferente que en los hombres jóvenes. Las mujeres jóvenes que prefieren la comunicación real están dispuestas a ayudar a los demás. Pero entre ellas hay muchas que resultaron ser egoístas, es decir, ponen sus intereses por encima de los de otras personas, prefieren satisfacer sus propias necesidades en primer lugar. Casi todas las mujeres jóvenes que prefieren la comunicación virtual han demostrado una actitud hacia el egoísmo. Ellas no quieren asumir responsabilidades, no quieren interferir en la vida de otras personas ni cambiar nada para mejor.

Palabras clave Altruismo egoísmo comunicación real comunicación virtual adicción a Internet género
Destacados
  • La comunicación en el espacio virtual y en las redes sociales desarrolla componentes cognitivos y emocionales del altruismo, pero dificulta la formación del componente conductual; en situaciones de interacción real, los jóvenes carecen de las habilidades para brindar ayuda efectiva a otra persona.
  • Para la mayoría de los hombres jóvenes que prefieren la comunicación real, es pronunciado el deseo de proveer ayuda a otras personas, el altruismo se expresa como un principio moral, como una norma social interiorizada.
  • Los jóvenes que prefieren la comunicación virtual tienen la actividad social disminuida, tienen la motivación por el deber social y la responsabilidad social débilmente expresado; son egoístas, y como resultado, no son capaces de un comportamiento altruista.
  • Las mujeres jóvenes que prefieren la comunicación real están dispuestas a ayudar a los demás, tienen la posición altruista, ero entre ellas hay muchas que resultaron ser egoístas.
  • Casi todas las mujeres jóvenes que prefieren la comunicación virtual han demostrado una posición egoísta.
Resume

Origines. L`altruisme en tant que phénomène psychologique est vivement étudié par les sciences sociales pourtant il n`y a pas d`unanimité sur la compréhension de sa nature et son contenu. Nous considérons l`altruisme comme l`opposé de l`égoïsme et comme un phénomène non contradictoire mais complémentaire. La communication dans l`espace virtuel, dans les réseaux sociaux cultive des composants cognitifs et émotionnels de l`altruisme mais rend difficile de former un composant comportemental ; dans des situations d'interaction réelles les jeunes ne possèdent pas de compétences nécessaires pour soutenir une autre personne.

Objectif. Le but de cette étude empirique était d`identifier les caractéristiques de genre des attitudes d`égoïsme-altruisme parmi les lycéens qui préfèrent un environnement numérique par rapport aux lycéens engagés dans différents types d`activités dans des conditions d'interaction réelle.

Conception. Cet article a utilisé le questionnaire et la méthode pour détecter l`attitude à l`altruisme ou l`égoïsme par O. F. Potemkina et la méthode de Chen « Internet Addiction ». L`échantillon a contenu 120 personnes, 57 garçons et 46 filles. La vérification d`hypothèse est faite par utilisation de l`analyse qualificative et les méthodes de la statistique mathématique (le test F).

Résultats. La plupart des jeunes qui préfèrent la communication réelle ont envie d`aider les autres, une attitude altruiste est fixée comme un principe moral, une norme sociale interne. Vue qu`ils sont des acteurs actifs, habitués à prendre des décisions indépendantes et à être responsables de leurs actes, ils peuvent assumer la responsabilité des autres, prendre soin d’eux, les protéger. Les jeunes qui préfèrent la communication virtuelle présentent une activité sociale réduite. Ils ne sont pas prêts à aider les autres personnes croyant que tout va se résoudre tout seul et ils ont un motif faiblement exprimé de devoir et de responsabilité sociales. Ils sont égoïstes et ne sont donc pas capables d’adopter un comportement altruiste. Chez les filles ayant différentes formes de communication, les attitudes envers l'altruisme-égoïsme s'expriment dans une proportion différente que chez les garçons. Les filles qui préfèrent une communication réelle montrent un désir d’aider les autres. Mais parmi elles, il y a assez bien de celles qui se sont révélées égoïstes, c'est-à-dire qu'elles placent leurs intérêts avant ceux des autres et préfèrent avant tout satisfaire leurs propres besoins. Presque toutes les filles qui préfèrent la communication virtuelle ont fait preuve d’une attitude égoïste. Ils ne veulent pas prendre leurs responsabilités, ils ne veulent pas s'impliquer dans la vie des autres, changer quelque chose pour le mieux pour elles-mêmes.

Conclusion. Des différences significatives entre les garçons et les filles dans l'orientation vers les différents types de communication ont été révélées, c'est-à-dire que les filles se concentrent davantage sur la communication virtuelle. Des différences significatives dans les attitudes envers l'altruisme ou l'égoïsme ont été révélées chez les garçons et les filles axés sur différents types de communication. La majorité des jeunes hommes qui préfèrent une vraie communication ont le désir d’aider les autres. Presque toutes les filles qui préfèrent la communication virtuelle ont fait preuve d’une attitude égoïste. Des différences significatives dans les attitudes envers l'altruisme et l'égoïsme entre les garçons et les filles ont été révélées. Il y a plus d’altruistes parmi les garçons que parmi les filles.

Mots-clés Altruisme égoïsme une communication réelle communication virtuelle dépendance à Internet genre
Points principaux
  • La communication dans l'espace virtuel, dans les réseaux sociaux développe des composantes cognitives et émotionnelles de l'altruisme, mais rend difficile de former un composant comportemental ; dans des situations d'interaction réelle, les jeunes n'ont pas les compétences nécessaires pour apporter une aide efficace à une autre personne.
  • La majorité des jeunes qui préfèrent une communication réelle ont la volonté d'aider les autres, une attitude altruiste est fixée comme principe moral, comme norme sociale interne.
  • Les jeunes hommes qui préfèrent la communication virtuelle ont une activité sociale réduite, ils ont un motif de devoir social et de responsabilité sociale faiblement exprimé ; ils sont égoïstes et, par conséquent, ne sont pas capables d’adopter un comportement altruiste.
  • Les filles qui préfèrent une communication réelle montrent un désir d'aider les autres, elles ont une attitude altruiste, mais parmi elles, il y en a beaucoup qui se révèlent être des égoïstes.
  • Presque toutes les filles qui préfèrent la communication virtuelle ont fait preuve d'une attitude d'égoïsme.

Introduction

Altruism as a psychological phenomenon is currently being actively studied by social scientists, but there is still no agreed-upon understanding of its nature and content (Ilyin, 2013). There are several approaches to the study of altruistic behavior, each of which follows its own research methodology. One, the evolutionary approach, assumes that altruistic behavior is the result of natural selection and evolutionary development; that is,  people show altruism to improve their chances of survival and procreation. Another, the socio-psychological approach, is based on the assumption that prosocial behavior is the result of the influence of the social environment and interaction between people. It studies how social factors, such as norms of behavior, cultural values, and social roles, influence altruistic behavior (Crocker et al., 2008; Laverycheva, 2009).

 Highlighting the social aspect when explaining the selfless assistance of strangers contributes to understanding altruism as the opposite of egoism, but altruism and egoism are not contradictory, but complementary phenomena (Carlson et al., 2011; Myers, 2007). Prosocial behavior is influenced by both disinterested and selfish considerations (Batson, 2011). Many psychologists have done experiments studying the relationship between selfishness and altruism in helping other people (Penner et al., 2005). Altruism is a form of prosocial behavior that is characterized by actions aimed at helping other people without any personal benefits or interests. Altruistic behavior can be associated with a risk to life, and a loss of time and finances, but at the same time the person continues to help other people.

Prosocial behavior and altruism are important psychological concepts that reflect the human capacity for empathy for other people. The manifestation of prosocial behavior and altruism contributes to the creation of a favorable social environment and the improvement of people's quality of life. Research shows that prosocial behavior and altruism can be stimulated by social norms, cultural values, and patterns of behavior, as well as by public institutions such as charitable organizations and state social assistance programs (Penner et al., 2005).

Ilyin argued that altruism is an important quality that helps us live in a more just and harmonious society. He also identified various types of altruism, such as empathy, justice and mercy, and popularized the concept of "existential altruism," which stems from people’s belief that altruistic actions help give meaning and value to their lives (Ilyin, 2013).

We believe that altruism has three components: 1) a cognitive component (understanding through the prism of ideas, knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes); 2) emotional component (altruistic or egoistic behavior is identified through the prism of emotional reactions such as empathy, pity, compassion, indifference, etc.); and 3) a behavioral component (help, support, and care).

Communication in virtual space like social networks develops the cognitive and emotional components of altruism, but makes it difficult to form a behavioral component; in situations of real interaction, young people do not have the skills to provide effective assistance to another person. Real communication contributes to the development of all three components and the behavioral component, in particular, is formed as a social skill.

Altruism and egoism are interrelated with different personal characteristics and a different combination is formed in society (Moiseeva, 2007).

Differentiating by gender opens up new opportunities for the study of manifestations of egoism and altruism, ones in which there is no rigid polarization and hierarchy of "male" and "female." Gender analysis allows us to look for the origins of differences in attitudes toward egoism or altruism in boys and girls in the specifics of their socialization and orientation to certain gender roles (Ilyin, 2002; Ilyin, 2010). We share the point of view that a person’s gender characteristics reflect the differences between men and women formed under the influence of social factors. Therefore, the altruistic or egoistic orientation of the individual can be considered as gender differences, although they are formed under the conditions of certain factors of education and upbringing.

There are contradictory results of studies comparing the prosocial behavior of men and women. Sh. Bern writes that "generally accepted stereotypes describing women as caring and sympathetic suggest that they should help others more than men"(Bern, 2001). Iagli and Crowley conducted a meta-analysis of socio-psychological research and found that it was men who helped others more often than women (Eagly & Crowley, 1986). A. Iagli notes that the provision of assistance depends on the type of helping actions that are prescribed by gender roles (Eagly, 1983).

This study was part of a research cycle devoted to the problem of altruism-egoism (Kashirskaya, 2020; Kashirskaya, 2021). Its aim was to identify gender-specific attitudes toward egoism-altruism in adolescents who preferred a digital environment, compared to those engaged in different types of activities with real human interaction. The study assumed that attitudes towards altruism or egoism are interrelated with the orientation toward real communication or Internet communication, and that there are gender-specific attitudes towards altruism-egoism in adolescents who prefer different types of communication and interaction. There are also differences in attitudes to altruism-egoism among boys and girls in the sample as a whole.

Methods

This study  used the following methods: 1) questionnaire and conversation; 2) O.F. Potemkina's method of diagnosis of altruism (Raygorodsky, 2001) or egoism; and 3) Chen's scale of Internet addiction, as adapted by V.L. Malygin and K.A. Feklistov (Malygin, 2011). The hypotheses were tested using qualitative analysis and methods of mathematical statistics (Fisher's criterion). The study involved 120 secondary school students, 57 of whom were boys and 46 were girls.

Results and Discussion

Based on the preferences of the boys and girls in the field of communication shown in the questionnaires, conversations, and Chen's scale of Internet addiction, the subjects were divided into two groups: 1) those who preferred to communicate in a digital environment, and 2) those who preferred to actually interact with other people by engaging in various activities. The teenagers in the first group spent almost all their free time, in virtual space. There they communicated with friends, made new acquaintances, got necessary information and news, watched movies and videos, browsed various websites, etc. Such teenagers had a tendency toward Internet-dependent behavior.

The teenagers in the second group were also well-oriented on the Internet and spent part of their free time on virtual communication, but, they also attended sports clubs, engaged in various interest groups, participated in volunteer movements, etc. Such adolescents had a minimal risk of Internet-dependent behavior. Next, we calculated how many boys and girls were included in each of these groups. As a result, all the subjects were divided into four groups according to two criteria: preference for the type of communication and gender.

Figure 1. Differences in the preference for virtual or real communication for boys and girls 10.11621/nicep.2023.0405

Figure 1. Differences in the preference for virtual or real communication for boys and girls

Most of the teenagers preferred virtual communication over real communication (68% and 32%, respectively).  Among those who preferred real communication, there were twice as many boys as girls (66% and 34%, respectively). Conversely, among the teenagers who preferred virtual communication, there are more girls (61%) than boys (39%). Thus, significant differences were revealed between boys and girls in their orientations toward different types of communication (2,768*- Fisher's criterion); i.e., girls were more focused on virtual communication.

Then, the teenagers’ socio-psychological attitudes toward altruism-egoism were analyzed.

Figure 2. Attitudes to altruism-egoism in young men with different communication preferences10.11621/nicep.2023.0405

Figure 2. Attitudes to altruism-egoism in young men with different communication preferences

 The majority of young men (84%) who preferred real communication had a desire to help other people. In the process of their development, they had formed a desire to provide selfless help, sometimes even to the detriment of themselves. As a result, they acquired an altruistic attitude, which became a moral principle. Since they were active in society, and accustomed to making independent decisions and taking responsibility for their actions, they could take responsibility for other people, provide care for them, and protect them. Altruism was their personal belief, an internalized moral norm of society. Such young men were distinguished by a high level of empathy and the ability to understand other people’s problems. Therefore, they were ready to provide concrete assistance to people who had fallen into difficult life circumstances.

The young men who preferred virtual communication expressed attitudes toward altruism and selfishness to the same extent. In the young men with an egoistic mindset, social activity was reduced. They believed that they could not control what is happening; they believed in luck, and that most of the events of their lives depended either on circumstances or on the actions of other people. Therefore, they were not ready to help others, believing that everything would be resolved by itself. They had a weakly expressed motive of social duty and social responsibility. Such young men were more conformist and sometimes overly aggressive; they showed less tolerance for other people, and were not sensitive to their problems. Therefore, they were selfish, and as a result, incapable of altruistic behavior.

Thus, significant differences in attitudes towards altruism or egoism among the young men, depending upon their preferences for different types of communication, were revealed (2.802*-). 

Figure 3.  Attitudes to altruism-egoism in girls with different communication preferences. 10.11621/nicep.2023.0405

Figure 3. Attitudes to altruism-egoism in girls with different communication preferences.

The girls’ attitudes toward altruism-egoism were expressed in a different proportion than the boys’. More than half of the female subjects who preferred real communication (62%) showed an attitude of altruism; the remaining 38%, an attitude of selfishness. Altruistic girls, like the boys, showed a desire to help others. These girls showed empathy and strove to take care of the weaker, to comfort them and protect them if necessary.

But even among the girls who preferred real communication, there were quite a number who turned out to be selfish; that is, they put their own interests above the interests of other people, preferring to satisfy their own needs first. There were very few egoists among young men with this type of communication preference compared to the girls -- only 16%.

Almost all the girls (84%) who preferred virtual communication demonstrated an attitude of selfishness, i.e., they were not ready to help selflessly, often to their own detriment. Such girls did not even want to take responsibility for themselves, preferring to rely on chance; they did not want to intervene in the lives of other people to change their situation, even for the better. If such people are afraid of responsibility, then they are certainly not going to take responsibility for others.

Thus, significant differences in attitudes towards altruism or egoism were revealed among the girls, depending on their preferences for type of communication (3,148*- Fisher's criterion). 

Figure 4.  Attitudes to altruism-egoism in boys and girls. 10.11621/nicep.2023.0405

Figure 4. Attitudes to altruism-egoism in boys and girls

As we have suggested, there were differences in attitude toward altruism-egoism in boys and girls. The majority of the young men (65%) had an altruistic attitude. They were ready to protect, take care of the weaker, provide assistance to those who need it, take responsibility, and make decisions not only for themselves, but also for others. Most likely, the motive of moral duty which prevailed among the young men, was associated with moral satisfaction, maintaining self-esteem, and the emergence of a sense of pride when committing altruistic acts. It is believed that the men show increased personal responsibility for society as a whole, and not just for their loved ones. This explanation corresponds to the theory of social norms, according to which we must provide assistance to those who need it; we must follow the norms of social responsibility.

The majority of the girls (75%) had a socio-psychological propensity toward selfishness. We can explain this by the fact that despite the fact that girls, according to many studies, are more empathetic, their emotional empathy does not always make them ready to provide effective help to another person, especially if this person is not part of their "inner circle." Women are less inclined than men to sacrifice themselves for the sake of strangers, to help "abstract" others to the detriment of themselves. The predominance of egoistic attitudes this study found among girls may also be related to age characteristics, since teenage girls do not yet have the experience of caring and helping behavior towards their children and husband. Evolutionary theory may also explain this result: according to that theory, egoists are more adapted to life's difficulties, since they take care of themselves first. In addition, a woman is forced to ensure the well-being of her children, even sometimes at the expense of others.

Thus, significant differences in attitudes toward altruism-egoism between boys and girls were revealed (4,469*- Fisher's criterion). There were more altruists among the boys than among the girls. But in general, more than half the teenagers (56%) turned out to be egoists.

Conclusion

Significant differences between boys and girls in their orientations toward different types of communication have been revealed, i.e., girls were more focused on virtual communication. Significant differences in attitudes toward altruism or selfishness among young men, depending on their preferred different type of communication, were also revealed. The majority of young men who preferred real communication had a desire to help other people. Significant differences in attitudes toward altruism or selfishness among the girls, depending on their preferred type of communication, were also revealed. Almost all the girls who preferred virtual communication demonstrated an attitude of selfishness. Significant differences in attitudes toward altruism and selfishness between boys and girls were revealed. There were more altruists among the boys than among the girls.

Limitations

For greater validity of the conclusions, it is desirable to expand the sample to study not only high school students, but also those in universities. This could allow us to confirm the data obtained and exclude the influence of the social component. It would allow for a more in-depth analysis of the manifestations of prosocial behavior.

Conflict of Interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Acknowledgements

This research project did not have special funding. The author expresses gratitude to the children who took part in the study, as well as to the staff of the school's psychological service who assisted in this work.

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