Prosocial Behaviour

  • Created by: Clare
  • Created on: 06-05-15 14:45
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  • Prosocial Behaviour
    • What is prosocial behavior?
      • Eisenberg and Mussen 1989- voluntary actions intended to help or benefit individuals or groups
      • Consequence of the actions, not the motivations behind it
      • Includes things like comforting, sharing and helping
      • Occurs in both humans and animals
    • Why act prosocially?
      • To help others
      • Immediate gratification
        • External Rewards
      • Future reciprocity
      • Make friends
    • Who acts prosocially?
      • Adults develop prosocial behavior from a young age
      • Zhan-Waxler 1992- mothers kept diaries of when their kids showed prosocial behaviour, kids under 14 months didn’t, most kids aged 2 years did. Less children showed empathic concern and even fewer showed self-distress
        • Suggests prosocial behavior is learned
      • ·         Hoffman’s (1982) model of prosocial development- he believed children aged 1 showed no prosocial behaviour as children have no concept of themselves or the outside world. Aged 2 there is limited prosocial behaviour as children would get their own mother if another child was in distress opposed to the child’s mother. After aged 3 the child would have appropriate comforting techniques. 
    • Is prosocial behaviour and empathy innate in infants?
      • YES
        • Field 1982- newborns smiled and frowned when model smiled and frowned
        • Dondi 1999- babies in a maternity ward- when one cried they all joined in
        • Preston 2000- rats had to press a button to get food but when they did another rat got an electric shock. Most of the rats starved.
      • NO
        • Behaviour is learned
          • TV programs eg. cbbc
          • Skinner 1938- Immitation theory
            • Operant Conditioning
    • Associations between empathy and prosocial behavior
      • Hard to measure in kids- Hawthorne effect
      • Fabes 1992- some kids with high anxiety with empathy ha lower dispositional helpfulness scores. Children with high arousal weren’t overwhelmed by the pain of others had had higher helpfulness scores Kids aged 10-13
      • Dondi 1999- babies were more upset when mums played clips of other babies crying than their own crying.
      • Stewart and Marvin 1983- when mum left the room, older sibling comforted younger sibling
    • Could compare to aggression etc.


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