My Work and Research in Psychology: DOCTORAL THESIS, etc.

My interest focuses on altruistic motivations. The motivations of help and gift, commonly called altruistic, are very numerous and come from different quarters. But, following on the hint from many thinkers of all ages, social psychologists have shown personal interest to be at the root of most prosocial behavior. Is there ever any true altruism?

According to the extensive work done by Batson (e.g., 2011), one may find some true altruism in humans, at least under some circumstances, and based on empathy. My work shows that one can also likely expect some true altruism from those people for whom true altruism is an important personal value. I find these people to be a minority, but an important one (maybe 20-30% of the general population).

My doctoral thesis in Psychology (2017; ‘The true altruism personal value as a basis for altruistic behaviors: Perspectives in social psychology’) studies more than a thousand participants in a variety of samples. First, it finds a medium correlation between the true altruism personal value (TAV) and varied prosocial behavior indicators. Then, importantly, it finds a causal effect of TAV on such prosocial behavior*, so that the resulting prosocial behavior can be called ‘partly truly altruistic’. Moreover, it also finds TAV to be such a key component of the personal base value Benevolence (e.g., Schwartz, 2006), that the numerous publications of the causal effect of Benevolence on prosocial behavior can be looked at as comforting the likelihood of the causal effect of TAV on said prosocial behavior. Prosocial behaviors* caused in this manner, i.e. not solely by personal interest, but also partly by the ideal that TAV constitutes, are thus ‘partly truly altruistic’.

Further research should focus on consolidating these findings with behaviors at once real, natural, and objectively observed.


*according to the indicators used





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