Altruism Can Be Assessed Correctly Based on Impression
- 442 Downloads
Detection of genuine altruists could be a solution to the problem of subtle cheating. Brown et al. (Evol Psychol 1:42–69, 2003) found that humans could detect altruists using nonverbal cues. However, their experiments can be improved upon in several ways, and further investigation is needed to determine whether altruist-detection abilities are human universals. In our experiment, we used video clips of natural conversations as the stimulus. We asked a sample of Japanese undergraduates to rate their own level of altruism and then to estimate the videotaped targets’ altruism using the same scale. The perceivers were able to estimate the targets’ altruism levels accurately. Perceivers’ altruism score did not affect their ability to discriminate between altruists and non-altruists. Perceivers’ impressions of the altruist and non-altruist targets were also found to be different. Coding of nonverbal behavior of the targets revealed that altruists exhibited more “felt smiles” than non-altruists, which also supports the results of the previous study.
KeywordsAltruist detection Facial expression Impression Nonverbal behavior Subtle cheating
We would like to thank Dr. Hiroki Ozono for his advice. This research was partially supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture, Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 19500225, 2007.
- Brown, W. M., & Moore, C. (2002). Smile asymmetries and reputation as reliable indicators of likelihood to cooperate: An evolutionary analysis. In S. P. Shohov (Ed.), Advances in psychology research 11 (pp. 59–78). New York: Nova Science.Google Scholar
- Brown, W. M., Palameta, B., & Moore, C. (2003). Are there nonverbal cues to commitment? An exploratory study using the zero-acquaintance video presentation paradigm. Evolutionary Psychology, 1, 42–69.Google Scholar
- Byrne, R., & Whiten, A. (eds). (1988). Machiavellian intelligence: Social expertise and the evolution of intellect in monkeys, apes, and humans. Oxford: Oxford Science.Google Scholar
- Chiappe, D., Brown, A., Dow, B., Koontz, J., Rodriguez, M., & McCulloch, K. (2004). Cheaters are looked at longer and remembered better than cooperators in social exchange situations. Evolutionary Psychology, 2, 108–120.Google Scholar
- Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (1992). Cognitive adaptations for social exchange. In J. H. Barkow, L. Cosmides & J. Tooby (Eds.), The adapted mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture (pp. 163–228). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Frank, R. H. (1988). Passion within reason: The strategic role of the emotions. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
- Ohashi, M., Nagato, K., Hirabayashi, S., Yoshida, T., Hayashi, F., Tsumura, T., et al. (1976). Assumed relationship between physiognomic features and personality traits. Examining the difference between rating scores of stimulus persons composing counterparts. Bulletin of the Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Psychology, 23, 11–25. in Japanese with English abstract.Google Scholar
- Osgood, C. E., Suci, G., & Tannenbaum, P. (1957). The measurement of meaning. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar