Altruism is a type of behavior in which an animal sacrifices its own interest for that of another animal or group of animals. Altruism is the opposite of selfishness; individuals performing altruistic acts gain nothing for themselves.
Examples of altruism abound, both among humans and among other mammals. Unselfish acts among humans range from the sharing of food with strangers to the donation of body organs to family members, and even to strangers. Such acts are altruistic in that they benefit another, yet provide little reward to the one performing the act.In fact, many species of animals appear willing to sacrifice food, or even their life, to assist other members of their group.
The meerkat, which is a mammal that dwells in burrows in grassland areas of Africa, is often cited as an example. In groups of meerkats, an individual acts as a sentinel, standing guard and looking out for predators while the others hunt for food or eat food they have obtained. If the sentinel meerkat sees a predator such as a hawk approaching the group, it gives an alarm cry alerting the other meerkats to run and seek shelter. By standing guard,the sentinel meerkat gains nothing—it goes without food while the others eat, and it places itself in grave danger. After it issues an alarm, it has to flee alone, which might make it more at risk to a predator, since animals in groups are often able to work together to fend off a predator. So the altruistic sentinel behavior helps ensure the survival of other members of the meerkat’s group.
You know, often in science, new findings force us to re-examine earlier beliefs and assumptions.
And a recent study of meerkats is having exactly this effect. The study examined the meerkat’s behavior quite closely, much more closely than had ever been done before. And some interesting things were found . . . like about eating habits . . . it showed that typically meerkats eat before they stand guard—so the ones standing guard had a full stomach! And the study also found that since the sentinel is the first to see a predator coming, it’s the most likely to escape . . . because it often stands guard near a burrow, so it can run immediately into the burrow after giving the alarm.
The other meerkats, the ones scattered about looking for food, are actually in greater danger. And in fact, other studies have suggested that when an animal creates an alarm,the alarm call might cause the other group members either to gather together or else to move about very quickly, behaviors that might actually draw the predator’s attention away from the caller, increasing that animal’s own chances of survival.
And what about people—what about some human acts that might be considered altruistic? Let’s take an extreme case, uh, suppose a person donates a kidney to a relative, or even to a complete stranger. A selfless act, right? But . . . doesn’t the donor receive appreciation and approval from the stranger and from society? Doesn’t the donor gain an increased sense of self-worth? Couldn’t such non-material rewards be considered very valuable to some people?
Que: Summarize the points made in the lecture you just heard, being sure to specifically explain how they cast doubt on points made in the reading.
The article states that altruism is common in mammals and various species of animals and provides three reasons for support. However, the professor explains that in science new findings force us to re-examine earlier beliefs and facts and refutes each of the authors' reasons.
First, the reading claims that humans have shown the nature of selflessness, that is altruism, by donating body organs to family members or even strangers and receiving no gain for themselves. The professor refutes this point by saying that the human who has donated organ gains non-material rewards in return. She states that the person often receives appreciation from the stranger and society. Also, this increases the feeling of self-worth in the donor.
Second, the article posits that altruism is found in various animals by giving the example of eating habits of meerkats. In a group of meerkats, an individual meerkat acts as a sentinel who guards the group which looks for food. The sentinel himself does not eat and sacrifices food for the members of his group. However, the professor says that it is erroneous that the sentinels do not eat and sacrifice their food. According to the professor, the sentinels are the ones who eat first and then guards the other members. Thus, the stomach of the sentinel is full while he is standing guard.
Third, the reading says that Meerkats show the behavior of altruism by giving the instance that they sacrifice even their life for the other members of their group. It says that when the sentinel spots the predator, it calls an alarm signal which helps the group to escape quickly and it leaves the sentinel in the most danger as it has to escape alone and it is the closest from the predator. The professor opposes this point by explaining that it is fallacious for the sentinel to be at fatal risks. We also learn that since sentinels are the ones who spot the predator first escapes quickly in the burrow near his standing location. On the other hand, the signal giving by the sentinel can even be misinterpreted by other animals nearby. Which might bring them out of their holes and expose them to the predators. So, this poses a greater threat to other animals.
- Passage:Altruism is a type of behavior in which an animal sacrifices its own interest for that of another animal or group of animals. Altruism is the opposite of selfishness; individuals performing altruistic acts gain nothing for themselves.Examples of a76
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- TOEFL integrated writing: Endotherms3
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Transition Words or Phrases used:
also, first, however, if, look, second, so, then, third, thus, while, as to, on the other hand
Attributes: Values AverageValues Percentages(Values/AverageValues)% => Comments
Performance on Part of Speech:
To be verbs : 12.0 10.4613686534 115% => OK
Auxiliary verbs: 2.0 5.04856512141 40% => OK
Conjunction : 13.0 7.30242825607 178% => OK
Relative clauses : 22.0 12.0772626932 182% => OK
Pronoun: 40.0 22.412803532 178% => Less pronouns wanted
Preposition: 41.0 30.3222958057 135% => OK
Nominalization: 4.0 5.01324503311 80% => OK
Performance on vocabulary words:
No of characters: 1826.0 1373.03311258 133% => OK
No of words: 376.0 270.72406181 139% => Less content wanted.
Chars per words: 4.85638297872 5.08290768461 96% => OK
Fourth root words length: 4.40348946061 4.04702891845 109% => OK
Word Length SD: 2.43557638168 2.5805825403 94% => OK
Unique words: 190.0 145.348785872 131% => OK
Unique words percentage: 0.505319148936 0.540411800872 94% => More unique words wanted or less content wanted.
syllable_count: 537.3 419.366225166 128% => OK
avg_syllables_per_word: 1.4 1.55342163355 90% => OK
A sentence (or a clause, phrase) starts by:
Pronoun: 7.0 3.25607064018 215% => Less pronouns wanted as sentence beginning.
Article: 13.0 8.23620309051 158% => OK
Subordination: 0.0 1.25165562914 0% => More adverbial clause wanted.
Conjunction: 0.0 1.51434878587 0% => OK
Preposition: 4.0 2.5761589404 155% => OK
Performance on sentences:
How many sentences: 19.0 13.0662251656 145% => OK
Sentence length: 19.0 21.2450331126 89% => OK
Sentence length SD: 43.7015184482 49.2860985944 89% => OK
Chars per sentence: 96.1052631579 110.228320801 87% => OK
Words per sentence: 19.7894736842 21.698381199 91% => OK
Discourse Markers: 4.94736842105 7.06452816374 70% => OK
Paragraphs: 4.0 4.09492273731 98% => OK
Language errors: 0.0 4.19205298013 0% => OK
Sentences with positive sentiment : 9.0 4.33554083885 208% => Less positive sentences wanted.
Sentences with negative sentiment : 5.0 4.45695364238 112% => OK
Sentences with neutral sentiment: 5.0 4.27373068433 117% => OK
What are sentences with positive/Negative/neutral sentiment?
Coherence and Cohesion:
Essay topic to essay body coherence: 0.196314911843 0.272083759551 72% => OK
Sentence topic coherence: 0.0593890040774 0.0996497079465 60% => OK
Sentence topic coherence SD: 0.0631977179211 0.0662205650399 95% => OK
Paragraph topic coherence: 0.112051524367 0.162205337803 69% => OK
Paragraph topic coherence SD: 0.0349885965566 0.0443174109184 79% => OK
automated_readability_index: 11.4 13.3589403974 85% => Automated_readability_index is low.
flesch_reading_ease: 69.11 53.8541721854 128% => OK
smog_index: 3.1 5.55761589404 56% => Smog_index is low.
flesch_kincaid_grade: 8.3 11.0289183223 75% => OK
coleman_liau_index: 10.91 12.2367328918 89% => OK
dale_chall_readability_score: 8.27 8.42419426049 98% => OK
difficult_words: 88.0 63.6247240618 138% => OK
linsear_write_formula: 10.5 10.7273730684 98% => OK
gunning_fog: 9.6 10.498013245 91% => OK
text_standard: 11.0 11.2008830022 98% => OK
What are above readability scores?
Write the essay in 20 minutes.
Rates: 76.6666666667 out of 100
Scores by essay e-grader: 23.0 Out of 30
Note: the e-grader does NOT examine the meaning of words and ideas. VIP users will receive further evaluations by advanced module of e-grader and human graders.