Prosocial Behavior

Publication Title: 
Journal of Adolescence

Video games can be played in many different contexts. This study examined associations between coplaying video games between siblings and levels of affection and conflict in the relationship. Participants were 508 adolescents (M age†=†16.31 years of age, SD†=†1.08) who completed questionnaires on video game use and sibling relationships. Participants were recruited from a large Northwestern city and a moderate city in the Mountain West of the United States.

Author(s): 
Coyne, Sarah M.
Jensen, Alexander C.
Smith, Nathan J.
Erickson, Daniel H.
Publication Title: 
Journal of Religion and Health

Traditional moral philosophy has long focused on rationality, principled thinking, and good old-fashioned willpower, but recent evidence strongly suggests that moral judgments and prosocial behavior are more heavily influenced by emotion and intuition. As the evidence mounts, rational traditions emphasizing deliberative analysis and conscious decision making are called into question. The first section highlights some compelling evidence supporting the primacy of affective states in motivating moral judgments and behavior.

Author(s): 
Bankard, Joseph
Publication Title: 
Frontiers in Psychology

Children vary markedly in their tendency to behave prosocially, and recent research has implicated both genetic and environmental factors in this variability. Yet, little is known about the extent to which different aspects of prosociality constitute a single dimension (the prosocial personality), and to the extent they are intercorrelated, whether these aspects share their genetic and environmental origins.

Author(s): 
Knafo-Noam, Ariel
Uzefovsky, Florina
Israel, Salomon
Davidov, Maayan
Zahn-Waxler, Caroyln
Publication Title: 
Frontiers in Psychology

There is a plethora of research showing that empathy promotes prosocial behavior among young people. We examined a relatively new construct in the mindfulness literature, nonattachment, defined as a flexible way of relating to one's experiences without clinging to or suppressing them. We tested whether nonattachment could predict prosociality above and beyond empathy. Nonattachment implies high cognitive flexibility and sufficient mental resources to step out of excessive self-cherishing to be there for others in need.

Author(s): 
Sahdra, Baljinder K.
Ciarrochi, Joseph
Parker, Philip D.
Marshall, Sarah
Heaven, Patrick
Publication Title: 
Psychological Science

Altruism is thought to be a major contributor to the development of large-scale human societies. However, much of the evidence supporting this belief comes from individuals living in pacific and often affluent environments. It is entirely unknown whether humans act altruistically when facing adversity. Adversity is arguably a common human experience (as manifested in, e.g., personal tragedies, political upheavals, and natural disasters). In the research reported here, we found that experiencing a natural disaster affected children's altruistic giving.

Author(s): 
Li, Yiyuan
Li, Hong
Decety, Jean
Lee, Kang
Publication Title: 
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Contingent reciprocity is important in theories of the evolution of human cooperation, but it has been very little studied in ontogeny. We gave 2- and 3-year-old children the opportunity to either help or share with a partner after that partner either had or had not previously helped or shared with the children. Previous helping did not influence children's helping. In contrast, previous sharing by the partner led to greater sharing in 3-year-olds but not in 2-year-olds.

Author(s): 
Warneken, Felix
Tomasello, Michael
Publication Title: 
Psychological Science

Young children are remarkably prosocial, but the mechanisms driving their prosociality are not well understood. Here, we propose that the experience of choice is critically tied to the expression of young children's altruistic behavior. Three- and 4-year-olds were asked to allocate resources to an individual in need by making a costly choice (allocating a resource they could have kept for themselves), a noncostly choice (allocating a resource that would otherwise be thrown away), or no choice (following instructions to allocate the resource).

Author(s): 
Chernyak, Nadia
Kushnir, Tamar
Publication Title: 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Altruistic behavior improves the welfare of another individual while reducing the altruist's welfare. Humans' tendency to engage in altruistic behaviors is unevenly distributed across the population, and individual variation in altruistic tendencies may be genetically mediated. Although neural endophenotypes of heightened or extreme antisocial behavior tendencies have been identified in, for example, studies of psychopaths, little is known about the neural mechanisms that support heightened or extreme prosocial or altruistic tendencies.

Author(s): 
Marsh, Abigail A.
Stoycos, Sarah A.
Brethel-Haurwitz, Kristin M.
Robinson, Paul
VanMeter, John W.
Cardinale, Elise M.
Publication Title: 
Appetite

This study focuses on the connection between prosocial behavior, defined as acting in ways that benefit others, and shared meals, defined as meals that consist of food(s) shared with others. In contrast to individual meals, where consumers eat their own food and perhaps take a sample of someone else's dish as a taste, shared meals are essentially about sharing all the food with all individuals. Consequently, these meals create situations where consumers are confronted with issues of fairness and respect.

Author(s): 
De Backer, Charlotte J. S.
Fisher, Maryanne L.
Poels, Karolien
Ponnet, Koen
Publication Title: 
Social Neuroscience

In the dictator game, a proposer can share a certain amount of money between himself or herself and a receiver, who has no opportunity of influencing the offer. Rational choice theory predicts that dictators keep all money for themselves. But people often are offering money to receivers, despite their opportunity to maximize their own profit and therefore showing altruistic behavior. In this study, we investigated the influence of the altruism of the dictator, the anonymity of the decision and the income of the receiver on the offer made by a dictator.

Author(s): 
Rodrigues, Johannes
Ulrich, Natalie
Hewig, Johannes

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