Psychology of volunteering: altruism

Altruism is working on helping the world. Altruism is also known as The Feel Good Do Good Feeling.
Altruism is defined by an unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others. Volunteering is categorized under altruism. Altruism will help repair a sometimes crazy world. Photo courtesy of AltaVista.

Doing well when already in a good mood is the Feel Good, Do Good phenomenon. It is what stimulates the good feeling when volunteering. AP Psychology teaches this and other aspects of the human brain.

“It is a great class, and many people sign up,” said Mrs. Valerie Nimeskern, U.S. History AP and World History Accelerated teacher. She also has taught AP Psychology for two years.

“It is a yearlong course as a social studies elective which is the equivalent to the first year in college credit. Psychology is the study of the human mind and behavior, human development—emotionally and socially,” said Mrs. Laura Miniard, AP Psychology teacher.

This is the eighth year the class has been offered.

One of their many vocabulary terms learned is altruism. Altruism is defined by doing something nice for someone else because the person feels good.

“My favorite part of volunteering is that smile you get from the person you helped and the warm feeling you get when you know you helped improve someone else’s life just by donating your time ,” said Megan Crone, 12.

However, there could also be a negative side effect to seeing lives struggle.

“The volunteer could get upset but the benefits outweigh the negative,” said Miniard.

No matter what, volunteering has the potential to make you feel good.