Being a Good Samaritan: The Psychology of Helping

Sep 29, 2017

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Although most people would consider themselves a Good Samaritan, psychological and social research shows otherwise. Tracy Ross speaks with MSU professor, Dr. Michael Bordieri, on Sounds Good about the psychology of being helpful -- and why we don't do it as much as we might think. 

      The parable of the Good Samaritan is one of many age old stories used to demonstrate selflessness, kindness, and helpfulness. Being a good Samaritan is now synonymous with being a thoughtful neighbor, lending a hand to those in need, and helping others before yourself. While most people would like to assume they fall under the category of "good" Samaritan, psychological research suggests that we are not as helpful as we might like to think.
           Several situational factors, including time and population, can affect one's willingness to help their fellow man. Even in the face of criminal activity, humans can turn a blind eye if the variables of the situation don't work in their favor. Dr. Michael Bordieri, assistant professor of psychology, discusses these factors and ways of thinking with Tracy Ross on Sounds Good