Are we capable of being altruistic?

Jack Whybrow, Jiwei Zheng

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This short essay will seek to address whether we are capable of being altruistic. The essay will start with a discussion of the definition of altruism both from a modern language and theoretical perspective before moving on to discuss the ways in which economists have attempted to capture altruism and concluding with a general discussion. The results suggest behavioural economists have as yet been unable to explain acts of kindness purely in altruistic terms and instead have elements of other motivations. That does not however suggest that we are not capable which incidentally may or may not be true, but given current experimental methods we
are yet to be successful in isolating strong altruism.


  • Altruism
  • Behavioural Economics

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