South African Medical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif Vir Geneeskunde
Of all the theories purporting to uncover the roots of childhood behaviour and its extension into adult behaviour, the most cogent relates to the physical and psychological bonds of attachment between infant and mother. It is helpful to divide the human lifespan into three periods, each of which has alternating phases of attachment and detachment.
This is a review of theoretical, empirical, and clinical research on therapeutic factors (TFs) in group psychotherapy covering the period 1955 to 1979. Therapeutic factors are processes that contribute to improvement in the patient's condition; they are different from conditions for change and from techniques. The following TFs are examined: self-disclosure, interaction, acceptance (cohesiveness), insight, catharsis, guidance, altruism, vicarious learning, instillation of hope, and an existential factor. Criteria for adequate experimental design in group research are proposed.
An altruistic individual has to gamble on cooperation to a stranger because it does not know whether the stranger is trustworthy before direct interaction. Nowak and Sigmund (Nature 393 (1998a) 573; J. Theor. Biol. 194 (1998b) 561) presented a new theoretical framework of indirect reciprocal altruism by image scoring game where all individuals are informed about a partner's behavior from its image score without direct interaction.
Hamilton's [Hamilton, W.D., 1964. The genetical evolution of social behavior, I, II. J. Theor. Biol. 7, 1-52] kin-selection theory predicts that altruism will be greater with greater genetic overlap (degree of kinship) between giver and receiver. Kin may be identified in terms of social distance-the closer you feel to someone else, (a) the greater your genetic overlap with them should be, and (b) the more altruistic you should be toward them.
The Ultimatum game, in which one subject proposes how to share a pot and the other has veto power on the proposal, in which case both lose everything, is a paradigmatic scenario to probe the degree of cooperation and altruism in human subjects. It has been shown that if individuals are empathic, i.e., they play the game having in mind how their opponent will react by offering an amount that they themselves would accept, then non-rational large offers well above the smallest possible ones are evolutionarily selected.