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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a broad introduction and overview of the field of prosocial behavior, that is, acts that serve to benefit another person. It examines the following questions: What are the different types of prosocial behavior? Why do people act in prosocial ways? Who is most likely to help another? When are prosocial actions displayed? A multilevel approach to the answers of these questions is taken, considering the many and diverse factors operating at the microlevels, mesolevels, and macrolevels of analysis. The contributions of four major research areas to the understanding of prosocial behavior are explored: evolutionary psychology, developmental psychology, personality and individual differences, and social psychology.

Keywords: Prosocial behavior, Helping, Volunteerism, Cooperation, Altruism

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