Prosocial behavior involves costs for the self and results in benefits for others. Altruistic acts confer benefits to others, but net costs to the self. Different types of prosocial behavior are distinguished, depending on whether it is enacted by an individual or as part of a group effort, and whether it is first order (direct contributions) or second order (sanctioning) behavior. Six theoretical approaches are outlined (evolutionary, rationalist, structural, institutional, situational, and individual differences). They explain the evolution of prosocial behavior and its variation across groups, contexts, and situations. Avenues for future research are discussed.
|Title of host publication||International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences|
|Place of Publication||Oxford|
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|