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date: 27 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Establishing when one can reliably predict prosocial behavior within the context of a relationship requires a thorough understanding of the structure of interdependence existing between relational partners. The authors review theory and findings from research on prosocial behavior in close relationships from an interdependence perspective. Acting prosocially is closely associated with the extent to which a person is dependent on a given relationship and, accordingly, experiences strong commitment to it. Thus, the relational concepts of dependence and commitment play a central role in understanding the tendency for a person to depart from self-interest and act in the interest of another. Commitment promotes behaviors and patterns of thought that reflect a prorelationship orientation. The authors review illustrative findings regarding behavioral and cognitive mechanisms that are particularly relevant to understanding prosocial action and motivation within close relationships.

Keywords: interdependence, diagnostic situations, transformation of motivation, commitment, relationship maintenance, prorelationship behavior

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