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            A casual observation of the human life, which involves day-to day interactions with others, asks the question, "Why do people help one another?" To answer this, we must break it down to smaller questions of events that take place during the human day-to-day routine. Why do we give to food banks or send money to a needy child in a third world country? Why do we hold the door open for the stranger behind us? Why do we stay up all night to comfort a friend who has just suffered a broken heart? Often the answer is that we help because we have no choice, because it is expected, or because it is in our own self-interest. A social psychology theory known as altruism specifically addresses the reasons of why we help individuals who are merely strangers to us. Psychologists define altruism as behaviour exhibited by one individual to benefit another, showing no direct gain but resulting in some cost for the first individual. It appears as though the individual who goes out of their way to help another person deviates from the social norm which may appear surprising. However, there is much argument about the nature of the motivation. Is it altruistic, or is it egoistic? Before we discuss why people help others, we must consider if our help for others is always and exclusively motivated by the prospect of some benefit for ourselves, or a selfless act for the sake of the person we are helping rather than our own. Take for example and egotistic scenario. On the night of March 13, 1964, upon returning to her apartment in Queens around 3am; Kitty Genovese was attacked at knifepoint by a rapist. Thirty-eight of her neighbours that surrounded her apartment complex watched and listened from their windows for thirty-five minutes while she screamed in terror. While Kitty lay hopelessly awaiting her death no one attempted to call the police. This is a prime example of what Psychologists refer to as the bystander effect.

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