Personal control, social control, and altruism: Can society survive the age of individualism?

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Abstract

Current resolutions of the person-environment controversy suggest the need for viewing both persons and environments as interacting loci of behavior control. A particular issue of this broader conceptual movement is the development of a mix of personal and social controls that optimizes personal satisfaction and requirements for group survival. The motivational base of prosocial behaviors is examined within a heuristic framework that proposes the similarity of processes in self-control and altruism. The development of egocentrically motivated altruism as one pragmatic alternative for regulation of the relationship between individuals and society is proposed. Implications of this view for clinical psychology are discussed. (36 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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