What is altruism? Each person intuitively this definition. We’ve all heard about people who, failing to give up possession of many material things, who dedicated his life to serving others. The person who chose altruism as the primary style of life, as a rule, takes responsibility for what is happening and genuinely wants to help those who are close to him. He ceases to argue, based on personal gain, as well as forget about individual aspirations. True selflessness is born only in an open and caring heart.

Altruism is a human desire to live for the welfare of others. The term altruism was introduced in the 18th century philosopher françois Xavier Comte. He argued that altruism only makes a person stronger, elevates it above circumstances.

The theory of altruism

Speaking about the theory of altruism, one should take into account the fact that each of them is based on different approach to life. All the theories in a certain way reveal an indissoluble connection with each other.

Evolutionary theory

Based on the concept of a gradual moral growth of the person. According to this theory, a person gets the opportunity to grow and develop only in a situation when its internal nature is involved, is revealed in selfless service to others. Evolutionary theory argues that the more developed people become, the more real benefits can bring to society. Civilized man has the potential to achieve moral enlightenment, transformation of the soul.

The theory of social exchange

This theory suggests that every person intending to carry out an action, first mentally analyzes its own advantages. The theory of social exchange is mutual acceptance of comfortable conditions of existence: helping your neighbor, the person has reason to hope that it someday will not leave without attention and participation.

The theory of social norms

This theory suggests that a person acts selflessly, is not entitled to expect an appropriate response to the shown grace and mercy to those society would not approve of such behavior. The theory of social norms teaches us to act according to conscience based on ethical and moral beliefs.

Types of altruism

Based on the definition of altruism, one can determine the principal. Types of altruism aimed at identifying components of selfless service in different circumstances.

Parent altruism

Parent altruism

It is the unconscious needs of each parent to care for their child. Father and mother are often forced to sacrifice themselves in the name of the future happiness and well-being of the baby. If their love was not selfless, it could not be altruism. A father’s love is not limited: it does not judge, does not seek its own benefit, not forced to stand in the position of the «debtor.» This kind of altruism many people take for granted, and so it is not considered something extraordinary or unusual.

Moral altruism

Here we are talking about such moral actions that change the human consciousness, awaken in him the gratitude, openness, desire to be helpful, not to depend on his own mood. Moral ideals are strongly associated with public attitudes and serve people. This type of selfless help is based on social beliefs. It is public institution of the time dictates the personality, how to live, what to direct their individual efforts.

Empathic altruism

This kind of noble manifestations of the best qualities of human nature based on spiritual needs to be understood and heard. Only one who knows how to listen and support in difficult times, can claim to be the best friend and precious companion. This type of holistic dedication of yourself to another person allows the soul to really open up, to achieve mutual understanding with our close and dear people.

Examples of altruism

Here it would be wise to bring relevant characteristics of altruism, the examples of moral action of the individual, which allow to determine the truth of the good intentions of a man who seeks to do good.


Gratuity is a Prime example of altruism. A true altruist, giving care and warmth to others, never think about what the result of this action will have he personally. Such a person is willing to unselfishly share with those near you, your thoughts, aspirations, moods, possibilities. Material benefits for him, as a rule, have little meaning. Selfless dedication makes it recognizable in the eyes of society. Altruist never takes anything in return. He is ready to selflessly help the needy, to listen to the desires of other people. At the same time on themselves and their own needs such a person remembers, as a rule, in last turn. It is often bypassed when it comes to promotion, it comes to money or gratitude.



Another example is the rejection of personal benefits. Altruist accustomed to sacrifice their own interests, to sacrifice their own desires for the happiness and well-being of loved ones. Sometimes it seems that he himself does not need anything. Sacrifice formed the character of the person who made altruism an integral part of his life. Self-sacrifice is evident throughout and is particularly strong in relationships with others. Altruist forward thinking about others and then about his personality. However «about me» queue can not be reached: you can always find in need of help and consolation. Sacrifice gradually fell into the habit of one who lives by the interests of their children, parents, work colleagues. People having freedom of choice, consciously refuses to live for himself and directs his attention to the needs of the immediate environment.


Altruistic mood always involves taking full responsibility for their actions and actions. It is impossible to imagine altruist selfish, not aware why he’s doing all the good intentions. Liability arises when a person realizes that can really help someone. This example demonstrates how altruism personality changes.

Mental satisfaction

Man, to cultivate the altruistic beginning, as a rule, begins to experience significant spiritual growth. This is an example of how useful it is to develop the tendency to serve others. Reaching a state of mental satisfaction, he is able to stay happy with life, to do pious deeds, to fully control his actions. A person experiences happiness when there is an opportunity to share the joy.

Thus, altruism is the natural state of man, which opened the natural generosity and desire to help others.

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