The Salience Of Humanity And Self Actualized People

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The Salience of Humanity in Self-Actualized People
Can only self-actualized people experience empathy? Many people are empathetic or prosocial, but perhaps only self-actualized people can be truly altruistic. If this assertion is true, that means approximately 1% of the population is truly altruistic. There are several rea-sons why this is a plausible explanation. First, self-actualized people presumably have their lower level needs met, therefore should have more attentional resources available. If lower level needs are unmet, the possibility of engaging in helping behavior is relatively slim. Sec-ond, self-actualized people likely pay attention to their environment and others in the envi-ronment. Therefore, they are more likely to
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Moreover, altruism de-scribes a subset of prosocial behaviors that are done without expecting anything in return. While prosocial behavior can be determined by overt behavior, we must look to covert intent to uncover the determinants of altruism. We need to know the motivation to help. Someone can have a prosocial personality but not be altruistic because their motives are selfish. Truly altruistic people may feel other people’s pain so they help to reduce other people’s pain, not their own. Prosocial behaviors are distinct from altruism in that they are socially desirable and often decided upon based on the lowest cost possible. Differentiating true altruism from prosocial behavior may be reduced to a hesitation before helping. Seemingly, truly altruistic people would not hesitate before helping someone
Attentional Resources
To take another person’s perspective, one must have the attentional resources availa-ble to do so. One of the hallmarks of self-actualization is the ability to feel empathy and compassion to others. Self-actualized people may have the attentional resources to allocate to a situation that calls for helping behavior. Non-self-actualized people, on the other hand, may not have the attentional capabilities to notice when others need help. Self-actualized people are capable of directing attention outside of the self. Since self-actualized people have their lower level needs met, they have the attentional resources available to help.

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