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Prosocial Behavior Theory

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Bill Davis

on 6 November 2012

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Transcript of Prosocial Behavior Theory

Prosocial Behavior Theory:
Eisenberg's Conception of Moral Development Bill Davis
EDFI 6730
10/23/12 Prosocial Behavior is any purposive action that seeks to help others, despite any cost to the individual

Eisenberg sought to balance the extremes presented by
Kohlberg (justice orientation)
Gilligan (caring orientation)

Created a six-level model, in which people can use any level for which they are capable, including levels lower than current developmental capacity Foundation of Theory Primary interest is pursuing one's own pleasure
Main motivators:
What's in it for me (benefit or loss)?
What do I get in return (reciprocity)?
Why do I care (what is our relationship)?
Typically exemplified by pre-schoolers/early elementary aged children Level 1: Self-Centered Reasoning Level 2: Needs-Oriented Reasoning Behave in accordance with expectations of society
Understanding is framed by stereotyped perspectives of
who are good/bad people and
what is good/bad behavior
Typically exemplified by some elementary school-aged children and adolescents Level 3: Approval-Oriented Reasoning Capable of considering others' perspectives
Capable of "how would I feel in that situation" reasoning
May understand consequences of actions:
helping others = positive feelings of self
not helping others = negative feelings of self
Typically exemplified by some older school-aged children and most adolescents Level 4: Empathetic Reasoning Actions are motivated by internal values (i.e. welfare of others)
However, those values are not clearly delineated
Typically exemplified by a few adolescents and some adults Level 5: Partly Internalized Principles Actions are motivated by intensely-driven internal values (i.e. justice, equality, etc.)
The consequences of one's actions are viewed from within (i.e. adherence to personal code) vs. external outcomes
This is the rarest form of reasoning Level 6: Strongly Internalized Principles Steele, W.R., Schreiber,G.B., Guiltinan, A., Nass, C., Glynn, S.A., Wright, D.J., Kessler, D., Schlumpf, K.S., Tu, Y., Smith, J.W., & Garratty, G. (2008). The role of altruistic behavior, empathetic concern, and social responsibility motivation in blood donation behavior. Transfusion, 48, 43 - 54. Research Study 1 Barr, J.J., & Higgins-D'Alessandro, A. (2009). How adolescent empathy and prosocial behavior change in the context of school culture: A two-year longitudinal study. Adolescence, 44(176), 751 - 772. Research Study 2 Cares about others' needs and has desire to help

This concern is expressed, without empathy, and even if it conflicts with other needs

Typically exemplified by some preschoolers and most elementary school-aged children Purpose of Study: To determine the relationship between altruism, empathy or social responsibility on donor behavior.
Participants: 12,064 current or lapsed donors
Data Analysis: Each participant completed scales related to altruism, empathy, and social responsibility. A series of ANOVAs were run to examine the relationship of demographic variables as well as the primary three factors against donor behavior.
Findings: Most donors have high levels of these pro-social characteristics; however, they are not the primary motivators for donation, as delineated by frequency data. Purpose of Study: To study changes in empathy and prosocial behavior in relation to school culture.
Participants: 30 high school students from a traditional high school and a Just Community school over a 2-year period.
Data Analysis: Each participant completed scales related to school culture, altruism, and empathy. Bootstrap and resampling procedures were utilized to study the differences between schools and between years one and two.
Findings: Differences between the schools for minimal
Students in JC schools showed a rise in school culture
Students in traditional high schools did show an increase in prosocial behavior
Empathy scales remained flat for both schools
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