chapter  11
24 Pages

Altruism and Prosocial Behavior

WithJohn D. DeLamater, Jessica L. Collett

This chapter discusses how others can suppress people likelihood of helping in emergency situations. However, there are also important ways that others increase prosocial behavior, including acting as models or serving as valued audiences. The empathy-altruism model proposes that adults can experience two distinct states of emotional arousal while witnessing another's suffering: distress and empathy. Evolutionary approaches to altruism have produced a considerable body of interesting research and theoretical propositions. The chapter focuses on giving help rather than receiving it, recipients' reactions to receiving help—and people's willingness to seek help in the first place—are important topics that also deserve attention. It shows that the expected response to helping is gratitude and appreciation. The chapter also focuses on helping specific others, there are more organizationally based forms of prosocial behavior that are also of interest to social psychologists. It provides two specific types of prosocial behavior: philanthropy and volunteering.