Altruism: Brand management or uncontrollable urge?

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):271-271 (2002)
The act-pattern model of altruism is primarily a brand-equity model, which holds that being altruistic can be traded for social benefits. This is a variant of the “selfish” altruism that Rachlin decries, with altruism being dictated by cold calculations. Moreover, personal and social “self-control” may not be as similar as Rachlin suggests – although we have good (biological) reasons to sacrifice the interests of our current selves in favour of our future selves, we have no such reason to sacrifice ourselves for our neighbours. When we do sacrifice ourselves – giving in to true altruism – we will be repaid with extinction.
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