Philosophies of Human Nature Altruism Scale
Wrightsman‚ L. (1964).
Read each statement carefully. Then indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree by circling the number in front of each statement. The numbers and their meaning are indicated below:
-3= Disagree Strongly‚ -2= Disagree Somewhat‚ -1= Disagree Slightly‚ +1= Agree Slightly‚ +2= Agree Somewhat‚ +3 = Agree Strongly
1.) Most people try to apply the Golden Rule even in today’s complex society.
2.) Most people do not hesitate to go out of their way to help someone in trouble.
3.) Most people will act as “Good Samaritans” if given the opportunity.
4.) “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a motto most people follow.
5.) The typical person is sincerely concerned about the problems of others.
6.) Most people with a fallout shelter would let their neighbors stay in it during a nuclear attack.
7.) Most people would stop and help a person whose car is disabled.
8.) The average person is conceited.
9.) It’s only a rare person who would risk his own life and limb to help someone else.
10.) It’s pathetic to see an unselfish person in today’s world because so many people take advantage of him.
11.) People pretend to care more about one another than they really do.
12.) Most people inwardly dislike putting themselves out to help other people.
13.) Most people exaggerate their troubles in order to get sympathy.
14.) People are usually out for their own good.
Items 1-7 are positively scored items. Items 8-14 are negatively scored (i.e.‚ reverse-scored).
Keep scoring continuous.
Note: the 14 items should be randomly mixed up before using this scale
Wrightsman‚ L. (1964). Measurement of philosophies of human nature. Psychological Reports‚ 14‚ 743-751.
Description of Measure:
An assessment of one’s philosophy of human nature‚ particularly dealing with beliefs about altruism. This scale is 1 of 6 subscales of the complete Philosophies of Human Nature scale which has a total of 120 items (Wrightsman‚ 1964). The other subscales are: 1.) Altruism (see the altruism and prosocial behavior section of this website). 2.) Independence‚ 3.) Strength of Will and Rationality‚ 4.) Complexity of Human Nature‚ and 5.) Variability in Human Nature. The Trustworthiness subscale is made up of 14 items‚ 7 positive and 7 negative. Respondents provide answers ranging from -3 (disagree strongly) to +3 (agree strongly).