Prosocial behavior

intent to benefit others

Prosocial behavior, or intent to benefit others, is a social behavior that helps people or society as a whole, such as aiding, sharing, donating, volunteering, respecting society's laws and having good manners. Prosocial behavior fosters positive traits that are beneficial for the individual and society.


  • ...In the aftermath of natural disasters, most people engage in prosocial, helping behaviors; antisocial behavior is the exception, rather than the rule.
    The narrative of postdisaster human behavior found in sociological studies is... encouraging: disaster survivors engage in overwhelmingly prosocial behavior and victimsturned-resourceful-first-responders rationally assess danger and work assiduously to save their neighbors and communities.
  • Prosocial behavior has long posed a challenge to social scientists seeking to understand why people engage in helping behaviors that are beneficial to others, but costly to the individual performing the action. In some cases, people will even put their own lives at risk in order to help other people, even those that are complete strangers. Why would people do something that benefits someone else but offers no immediate benefit to the doer? Psychologists suggest that there are a number of reasons why people engage in prosocial behavior. In many cases, such behaviors are fostered during childhood and adolescence as adults encourage children to share, act kindly, and help others.
  • Research shows that kindness can make a huge difference in people’s everyday work experience. So what is kindness? What are the benefits? And how can we generate more of it in the workplace— well beyond today?...The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley... defines Kindness as “orienting our thoughts, feelings, and actions towards care for others and genuinely supportive social bonds. It helps us in trusting, inclusive, and cooperative ways with people...”
  • Be Prosocial. Going beyond being respectful, the next step to a kinder workplace is to be proactively social. Prosocial behavior happens when you do something to actively improve the situation of people... around you. Great examples of prosocial behaviors in the workplace are empathy, compassion, and altruism.
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