is behavior that is intended to benefit others (Fiske, 2014). There are various schools of thought regarding why individuals engage in pro-social behavior. These explanations include , , , or adherence . In addition to motivation, it is important to consider how situational factors affect pro-social behavior (Fiske, 2014). For this week’s application, review the Learning Resources (Fiske, Chapter 9; Darley & Latane, 1968) as well as supplemental sources you determine using Walden’s Library.
Pro-social behavior refers to actions that are intended to benefit others. There are several theories that seek to explain why individuals engage in pro-social behavior. These theories include social exchange theory, empathetic concern, moral reasoning, and adherence to social norms. In addition to motivation, situational factors also play a role in influencing pro-social behavior.
According to social exchange theory, individuals engage in pro-social behavior in order to maximize their own self-interest. This theory posits that individuals weigh the costs and benefits of helping others, and will only help if the benefits outweigh the costs. For example, if a person believes that helping someone will lead to a future reward or favor, they are more likely to engage in pro-social behavior.
Empathetic concern theory suggests that individuals are motivated to help others out of genuine concern and empathy for their well-being. This theory emphasizes the importance of emotional arousal and the ability to take another person’s perspective. When individuals feel empathy towards someone in need, they are more likely to engage in pro-social behavior to alleviate their suffering.
Moral reasoning theory suggests that individuals engage in pro-social behavior because it aligns with their moral values and beliefs. According to this theory, individuals are motivated to behave in ways that are consistent with their own internal moral code. When helping others aligns with an individual’s sense of morality, they are more likely to engage in pro-social behavior.
Adherence to social norms also influences pro-social behavior. Social norms are the unwritten rules and expectations that govern behavior in a particular culture or society. These norms dictate what is considered acceptable or appropriate behavior in a given situation. When individuals feel a pressure or obligation to conform to these social norms, they are more likely to engage in pro-social behavior. For example, if a person sees others helping someone in need, they may feel obligated to do the same in order to conform to the social norm of helping.
In addition to motivation, situational factors also influence pro-social behavior. Research by Darley and Latane (1968) highlighted the importance of situational factors in influencing helping behavior. In their study, they found that the number of bystanders present in an emergency situation significantly affected whether or not individuals offered help. Specifically, they found that the presence of more bystanders reduced the likelihood of intervention. This phenomenon, known as the “bystander effect,” suggests that individuals are less likely to offer help when they are in a group compared to when they are alone.
This week’s application requires you to review the Learning Resources, including Chapter 9 of Fiske’s (2014) textbook, as well as supplemental sources that you find through Walden’s Library. These sources will provide a comprehensive understanding of the different theories and factors that influence pro-social behavior. By examining the literature, you will gain insight into the motivation and situational factors that drive individuals to engage in pro-social behavior.
Overall, pro-social behavior is a complex phenomenon that is influenced by various motivations and situational factors. Understanding these factors is essential for understanding why individuals engage in behaviors that benefit others. By exploring the theories and research in this field, you will develop a deeper understanding of the underlying processes that drive pro-social behavior.