The Social Psychology of Prosocial Behavior: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Social Psychology of Prosocial Behavior

1st Edition

By John F. Dovidio, Jane Allyn Piliavin, David A. Schroeder, Louis A. Penner

Psychology Press

422 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780805849363
pub: 2006-04-25
Hardback: 9780805849356
pub: 2006-04-25
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315085241
pub: 2017-09-25
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Written by four leading researchers in the study of prosocial behavior, this book introduces a new perspective on prosocial behavior for the 21st century. Building on the bystander intervention work that has defined this area since the 1960s, The Social Psychology of Prosocial Behavior examines prosocial behavior from a multilevel perspective that explores the diverse influences that promote actions for the benefit of others and the myriad ways that prosocial actions can be manifested. The authors expand the breadth of the field, incorporating analyses of biological and genetic factors that predispose individuals to be concerned for the well being of others, as well as planned helping such as volunteering and organizational citizenship behavior and cooperative behavior within and between groups. They identify both the common and the unique processes that underlie the broad spectrum of prosocial behavior.

Each chapter begins with a question about prosocial behavior and ends with a summary that answers the question. The final chapter summarizes the questions and the answers that research provides. Conceptual models that elaborate on and extend the multilevel approach to prosocial behavior are used to tie these findings together. The book concludes with suggestions for future research. The Social Psychology of Prosocial Behavior addressesthe following:

*the evolution of altruistic tendencies and other biological explanations of why humans are predisposed to be prosocial;

*how the situation and motives that are elicited by these situations affect when and how people help;

*the causes and maintenance of long-term helping, such as volunteering;

*how prosocial behavior changes over time and the developmental processes responsible for these changes;

*the consequences of helping for both the people who provide it and those who receive it;

*helping and cooperation within and between groups and the implications of these actions.

This accessible text is ideal for advanced courses on helping and altruism or prosocial behavior, taught in psychology, sociology, management, political science, and communication, or for anyone interested in learning more about prosocial behavior in general.


“…[it] should be highly appealing to any instructor offering a course in helping and altruism …[to] scholars…for their own libraries, and…to practitioners.” —Mark Snyder, Ph.D. University of Minnesota

“The writing style is clear and interesting…I recommend [the book]…with enthusiasm.” —William G. Graziano, Ph.D. Purdue University

“…A must-have on the bookshelves of students and researchers interested in understanding the complexities of helping behavior…The writing is engaging …” —Allen Omoto, Ph.D. Claremont Graduate University

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface.An Introduction to Prosocial Behavior. The Origins of Prosocial Behavior: Are People Selfishor Selfless by Nature? The Context: When Will People Help? Why Do People Help? Planned and Long-Term Helping. The Development of Prosocial Behavior. Being the Helper and Being Helped: Causes and Consequences. Prosocial Behavior in Collectives: Cooperation Within and Between Groups. Prosocial Behavior: The Past, Present, and Future.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Civics & Citizenship
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Philanthropy & Charity