Prosocial Behaviors : Prosocial Behavior And Altruism Essay

2387 Words Nov 18th, 2016 10 Pages
Prosocial behaviors such as helping behaviors and altruism are heavily studied within the field of social psychology. These behaviors are displayed across the human race in all cultures and societies. When a person engages in prosocial behaviors, they are benefitting both society and themselves. Prosocial behaviors can range from small things, such as holding the door open for the next person and smiling at them, to larger actions, including volunteering. This paper will focus on volunteering as an example of prosocial behavior in society and the relationship it has to socioeconomic status. It is believed that people with higher socioeconomic statuses will be more likely to engage in volunteerism throughout their life span because of the opportunities, time, and resources made available to them.
Prosocial behaviors include any actions that benefit and promote the general wellbeing of another person, even if the helper also receives a benefit. When people engage in prosocial behaviors, there are four main goals that are achieved. First, it improves their person welfare. Second, it increases one’s social status and approvals by others. Third, it helps manage self-image, and fourth, it helps manage moods and emotions (Kenrick, Neuberg, & Cialdini, 2015, p. 279). Two main types of prosocial behaviors are helping and altruism. Helping behaviors are any action purposefully taken that has the end goal of benefitting another person. Altruism, however, takes it one step further and…

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