Prosocial behaviour is behaviour that is of benefit to another person (or persons). Wispe (1972) defined prosocial behaviour as a behaviour that has positive social consequences and contributes to the well-being of another person. It includes helping behaviours (i.e., acts that intentionally benefit some else) and altruistic behaviours (i.e., a helping behaviour that is performed without expectation of personal gain and may be costly to the individual performing the act).
Our course looks at different factors that influence prosocial behaviour through the lens of each of the approaches to understanding behaviour. We will focus on the kin selection theory from the biological approach, the empathy-altruism theory from the social-cognitive approach, and we will re-visit Bandura’s social cognitive theory from the sociocultural approach and finish by looking at cross-cultural research on altruism.
This post was inspired by Dr Laura Swash.
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