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Prosocial Behavior

  1. Charles H. Huber

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0716

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Huber, C. H. 2010. Prosocial Behavior. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. New Mexico State University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Of those aspects that distinguish humans from other species, the degree of cooperation, helping, and altruism among people is typically espoused as most important (Fehr & Fischbacher, 2003). Prosocial behavior, that is, behavior that has no obvious benefits for the responder but is beneficial to the recipient (i.e., actions that benefit another person without any expected reward for the self) (Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998), has traditionally been considered as the basis of human relationships. A significant number of studies have found evidence of concern for others beginning in infancy and developing throughout childhood and adolescence. Girls have generally been thought to be (or be capable of being) more prosocial than boys; however, the majority of research has not found appreciable gender differences in prosocial behavior. Both internal and external mechanisms have been proposed as determinants of prosocial behavior, as have genetic contributions (Knafo & Plomin, 2006a, 2006b).


  • prosocial behavior;
  • prosocial development;
  • helping;
  • modeling;
  • parenting