Altruism is in the Air this Valentine’s Day

  • Altruism in the Military
What do you call it when someone risks his or her life to protect the lives of others? Bravery? Charity? Yes. But another word that comes to mind is altruism, or the selfless concern for the well-being of others. Warfighters have to be altruistic to succeed, often going above and beyond in the name of teamwork. But what makes us practice altruism in our everyday lives?

There is an ongoing debate that explores whether humans are hardwired to share, or to be selfish. Despite what humans can do to one another, it’s still remarkable how much we do for each other – often at little or no benefit to ourselves. Scientists have studied everything from primate and toddler actions to behaviors during high-stress situations and natural disasters to try to find out why we act this way.

Some research suggests that we experience less stress when we are around others. Even if we are around strangers, we are less stressed (and therefore healthier) than when we are isolated. Therefore, our decision making is often influenced by those around us – or at the very least our need to be around other humans.

Whether altruism is in our nature, or simply a higher moral standard, is surely a debate that to will be had among psychologists, sociologists, and philosophers for years to come. Nonetheless, take a moment to do something nice for someone special this Valentine’s Day – and for Warfighters, tell them it’s because of their altruism.

 

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Cognitive Performance Group, LLC is a woman-owned small business with offices in Orlando, Florida, and Cleveland, Ohio. It was founded by Dr. Karol G. Ross, Jennifer K. Phillips, and William A. Ross. The three CPG Principals developed the concept for a company to support cognitive performance improvement in industry and government. (more...)

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