Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Popularity, as a manifestation of social status, has been widely researched and appears to be determined by members of a social group. Individuals’ either aggressive or prosocial characteristics and environment lead them to one type of popularity. Prosocial behaviors are actions with intention of benefiting others or society as whole with little or no personal gain and may include helping, sharing, cooperating, donating, and other voluntary works. Altruism is a type of prosocial behavior that could affect individuals' popularity. Altruism has been studied in different disciplines with the general definition of cooperative behavior that has a cost to the actor with a benefit to the receiver. From the Evolutionary Psychology perspective, altruistic behaviors decrease the fitness of individuals, which is against the principles of evolution. Two main evolutionary hypotheses provide an explanation of altruistic behavior: kin selection and reciprocity. Kin selection by Hamilton (1964) explains altruistic behaviors of individuals towards family members based on the genetic relatedness of individuals. Conversely, Trivers (1971) aims to explain altruistic behaviors towards non-family members as an exchange for helping behaviors. Social Psychology also studies altruistic behaviors with several hypotheses or theories including the Social Exchange Theory and Altruism-Empathy Hypothesis. The common theme in both perspectives is that there is an inevitable cost for the actor with a benefit to the receiver. The current study aims to examine the relationship between altruistic behaviors that are towards friends and popularity by the endorsement of aforementioned hypotheses and theories.


Dr. Janett Naylor-Tincknell

Date of Award

Fall 2016

Document Type



© 2016 Eda Egilmez


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Psychology Commons