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date: 28 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The prosocial personality is an elusive prey, due in part to definitional issues. On one hand, some people seem to be disposed to more prosocial thoughts, feelings, and behavior than others. On the other hand, when distinctions are drawn (a) between prosocial and altruistic acts, (b) among cognitive, affective and behavioral components, and (c) between dispositional consistency and patterned coherence, elusiveness is easier to explain. If the prosocial personality is defined solely as a single, individual difference in behavioral acts, motivated preponderantly by the intent to benefit other people, then the prosocial personality may be a mirage. Following a selective analysis of the literature on prosocial personality, the authors offer an integrative opponent process model of prosocial motivation with implications for the prosocial personality.

Keywords: prosocial personality, helping, empathy, opponent processes

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