Prosocial Behavior Research Paper Samples

Published: 2017-11-08
Prosocial Behavior Research Paper Samples
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology Sociology Society Social psychology Human behavior
Pages: 10
Wordcount: 2641 words
23 min read

Essay Sample #1 - Explanation for prosocial behavior


Title A:

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Social Psychology provides different explanations for why, when and who helps others. What do you think is the best explanation for prosocial behavior? Does it explain why people help in some situations not others? Why some people always help and others rarely help? Why do we sometimes stand and watch (the phenomenon known as bystander behavior). Once you have developed your position use your insights to develop your strategy to enhance prosocial behavior. Focus on specific age group, gender and social site.


Explanation for prosocial behavior


Understanding why some people always help and others rarely do. Understanding the reason fueling prosocial behavior


Case study/ Research paper


Focus on Specific group, gender and social site

Examples of prosocial behavior

Introduction: General Information

Prosocial Motives, Emotions and Behavior

Human behavior is defined as dynamic and ever changing; over the years different scholars have taken matters into their hands by studying and gathering research based on the behavior of man in the society.

Thesis Statement

Since the birth of society, scholars have attributed the behavior of man as a variable that is totally dependent to the society itself. However, in order to understand human behavior there is vital need for continuous process of thinking of writing and research, so as to understand the dynamic variables contributing to human behavior. Psychologists have argued that the process of thinking of writing provides a base for a wider understanding of human behavior and the factors that influence, with this scholars can refer to perform research on works of other great minded scholars.

Main Body: Discussion

Outline Discussion subtopics; Situation, Problem, solution and evaluation and conclusion represent the order in which the areas of interests will be discussed in the paper. A subtopic and its content explain briefly of the area to be covered in the discussion.


March 13, 1964, marked the birth of the scientific study of prosocial behavior by social psychologists. The murder of Kitty Genovese that had 38 witnesses and no one helped in Kew Gardens, Queens New York, left the world in shock questioning the behavior of man causing a stir in the study of man and prosocial behavior patterns.


Through the continuous process of writing and research, scholars have achieved a wider approach with a variety of factors to explain prosocial behavior.

Solution and Evaluation:

An individual’s genes, personality, and past experiences influence the degree of a person’s perception of empathy, generosity, cruelty and destructive behavior.

Altruism is one possible factor motivating prosocial behavior.

Altruism is defined as the motivation factor of helping others without any thought of what one may get in return.

As motivating factor understanding is attached to the emotions of a person, being able to consider another person’s situation motivates for prosocial behavior.

The Reciprocity Norm states that if an individual gets something, they must give something back in return.

Human emotions are usually defined as a major contributor to the mode of behavior portrayed by individuals within the social setting.

Human emotions dictate an individual’s personal feelings that develop the attitude towards every aspect and practice of the society.

Solution Evaluation 2:

Gender disparities are a critical issue regarding motivation towards prosocial behavior; a person is likely to act in a certain way based on the type of situation and sex involved.

Pluralistic ignorance is a thesis that focuses on the behavior that an individual will adapt from others in a given situation.


Restatement of the thesis statement:

Human behavior is highly influenced by different factors making up the society, from the individual’s experience to culture to societal morals and values; human behavior is a dependent variable in the equation of the community.

Route Map:

Research has stated that human behavior is different from the individual and the group level, regardless of the social dilemma on whether the person makes the society or vice versa.

Final Comment:

Writing and research over extended periods of time allow social psychologists to achieve a higher understanding of prosocial behavior and contributes to the overall knowledge of human behavior in the society.

Part One

Prosocial Motives, Emotions and Behavior

Human behavior is defined as dynamic and ever changing; over the years different scholars have taken matters into their hands by studying and gathering research based on the behavior of man in the society. Human behavior is unpredictable, example why do people help and others rarely help? Human behavior is influenced by certain factors in the society, thereby in order to understand why people help and others do not it is important to engage in the thinking of writing and research as a process that creates a better understanding of a phenomenon (Peter, 2013). The factors that cause individuals to help and hinder others to help are the key concepts in understanding what causes prosocial motives. A proper assessment and research of the topic will provide a better understanding of what contributes to human behavior within the society and within the individual.

Studying the phenomenon behind prosocial motives in the social level will enable better relations of the psychologist towards others; similarly the topic will enlighten a psychologist in the broader understanding of human behavior in the individual and group level (Peter, 2013). Over the decades the dilemma between the Agency and the society has influenced much effect on the debate between who makes the other; does society make man or does man make the society. A proper way of answering this dilemma has been through the continuous process of thinking of writing, and research of the behavior of man. The sociological debate brings light to question behind factors that contribute to the behavior of the society; why do some people help while others don’t? Why do some people help and do not help at times? What contributes or hinders to the presence of prosocial behavior in the society? The paper focuses on analyzing the process of thinking of writing and research and its contribution of the understanding of the causes and significance of prosocial behavior in the society.

Pro-social behavior

Annotated bibliography

Peter, F. (2013). The Bystander Effect. Psychological Bulletin , 517-37.

The article provides a clear evaluation of the bystander effect, its causes and how it affects people in regards to prosocial behavior. The article starts with a concise description of the bystander effect giving examples of the social phenomenon, since the creation of the psychological study to prosocial behavior. The authors conduct a well-researched article with supporting evidence, to show the psychological approach to the bystander effect. This provides the article with enough evidence to understand past social phenomena and how people will react to different situations in the society.

Mario Mikulincer, P. R. (2010). Prosocial Motives, Emotions and Behavior New York: American Psychological Association.

This article dwells more on the special issues and it takes stocks of the theory and research as it applies to those at the adolescent stage. In addition to that the article focuses on the specific care giving behavior system and demonstrates how individual differences in care giving orientations or strategies can be measures with self-report scales. The article provides study cases on different strategies and measures developed by psychologists in addressing and understanding prosocial behavior. The article describes and supports the evidence of real life behavior that is expressed in the society, with a focus on continuous research and observation. Through a review of different written articles, the article is well resourced in providing evidence the causes and facilitators of prosocial behavior at the group level.

The author focuses on the development of the care giving system scale which measures hyper activation and deactivation of care giving system. The article further demonstrates how the two strategies relate to other measures of optimal and non-optimal care giving.

The article presents a well-illustrated description of the history of prosocial behavior and how it has generated interest over the years. The article is well equipped since it gives the reader a platform to understand prosocial behavior from its conception to its current significance in the world today. So as to help the reader understand, the article poses and argues for both sides of why people help and others rarely do. With supported evidence the paper goes further to present different cases as illustrated by different written works from different scholars. This provides a learning platform for the reader, where the reader is able to understand the concept of prosocial behavior in the society and how to address it. Similarly with supported thesis questions and theories, the article process to be an excellent source for understanding prosocial behavior, motives and the emotions that facilitate it at the group level.

Essay Sample #2 - Prosocial behavior research

Writing and gathering research over time facilitates a better understanding of the subject of study, as well as a platform where the researcher can assess and understand the evolution of behavior and the reasons behind it. Writing and research emphasizes more concentration on the subject being examined, giving way to better understanding and a better approach to identifying facts that other researchers have not. One would argue that social behavior being dynamic requires continuous writing and research as a process for a better understanding of the human behavior as well as factors that motivate the behavior.

A factor that prompted prosocial behavior yesterday may not facilitate a similar mode of action tomorrow; thereby continuous writing and research over a period provide time for better analysis, assessment, and conclusion. Prosocial behavior is defined as any action that has intent in helping others. Prosocial behavior involves the fulfillment of another individual wants or needs at the expense of a person’s desires and requirements (Mario Mikulincer, 2010). The type of behavior may include donating time, effort or money, volunteering, helping in an emergency or cooperating rather than competing. Prosocial behavior is a mode of action that has been present since the beginning of the society, over the years social psychologists have attempted to understand the main motivating factors behind the behavior. The paper will analyze different factors that motivate prosocial behavior in the society today. The writer is expected to fully explain who, when and why people indulge in prosocial activity and the different factors influencing this behavior both at the group level and the individual level.

Prosocial behavior examples


March 13, 1964, is considered the birth date of the prosocial behavior scientific study. The reason was the murder of Kitty Genovese witnessed by 38 persons none of whom helped the victim. Research has stated that behavior is often a secondary factor of the society. In other words, one would argue that an individual’s behavior may be related to the mother culture and the way of life led by that particular community. During the early 19th century social psychologists attempted to understand the motives behind prosocial behavior and the main factors influencing this behavior in the society(R, 2002). Defined as a narrowly focused, social psychologists had identified negative emotions and antisocial behavior as the motivating factors behind the prosocial behavior. However, this thesis conclusion only favored the argument towards anti-prosocial behavior, failing to provide the factors motivating prosocial behavior in society.

The study of prosocial behavior has expanded to cover more positive factors among them are responsiveness, consideration, gratitude and mercy as motivating factors in prosocial behavior. Prosocial behavior is defined as uncertain because it is tough to predict whether an individual will help or not. Research argues humans have prosocial behavior, this point out that prosocial behavior is a voluntary action that an individual expresses driven by natural emotions. However, the attachment to prosocial behavior may be obstructed by selfish and gained attitudes.

An individual will assist another person without the thought or need for a favor in return (Peter, 2013). Empathy-altruism is a theoretical approach to predicting the motivation towards prosocial behavior. The Empathy-Altruism theory argues that people are more likely to help others if they feel empathy for them; significantly this states that individuals are likely to help others when they feel empathy for other persons. Example an individual changing a flat tire on the highway on a rainy day will prompt an own passing by to consider the situation. Considering the situation, a person is likely to help as a result of empathy felt for the individual.

Prosocial behavior psychology

According to the situation the person may help (Why), because of empathy felt for the individual struggling alone in a situation. A person is likely to go and help change the tire (How and When), without expecting any favor in return (Baumeister, 2008). One would go forward and argue that past experiences may also contribute to the prosocial behavior. An individual’s past experiences may highly influence the individual to gain positive, motivating factors that would facilitate prosocial behavior. Example if a person is struggling to change a flat tire on a rainy day, another individual may intervene to help based on emotions experienced by the individual may be in a similar situation. Social psychologists have argued that a person may experience the Reciprocity Norm that prompts for reciprocity of an action earlier taken.

The reciprocity norm influences a notion of payback in every action taken in the society; a person is likely to help under the assumption that he/she will get something back in return. As a motivating factor, the reciprocity norm focuses on the approach to prosocial behavior by some individuals; some people may not help any gain in return. Similarly, a person can help another person with an objective that the individual may assist in some way within the future to come. On hand, a person would also be motivated to help if another person had aided in an experience. This would be a way of repaying a favor done by another individual to the person or an individual close or related to the person (Mario Mikulincer, 2010). The reciprocity norm acts as a motivating factor to prosocial behavior; people will help others in an unwritten mutual understanding that a favor will be owed and repaid in the future.

Research has stated that a person is highly attached to individuals who are close or closely related. In his book, Mario Mikulincer defined people as more protective and connected to individuals close to them as relevant to the larger society (Mario Mikulincer, 2010). An individual’s attachment to family and loved ones develops the kin selection theory in predicting prosocial behavior. Kin selection is an evolutionary concept that focuses on the individual helping those close to him/her, even at the cost to themselves. The Kin selection theory argues that people desire to help their generations to ensure that their genes live on. A person may opt to help a brother rather than a cousin because he may feel more connected to the brother.

The Kin selection theory emphasizes on human emotions and human attachments as a motivator of prosocial behavior within the society. Human behavior is driven by human emotions and drives that make up the psychological structure of the human self. Based on the kin selection approach scientists argue that an individual is more inclined to assist who shares similar genes than an unrelated person. In the case of two houses burning, a person is likely to help related people for the sake of generation continuity. One would argue that human emotions attach us to people we love and care for. An individual is profoundly attached to other related people especially by blood. Since we love and care for those we are related to, our unconscious psychological structure prompts us to help them whether voluntary or involuntarily. In his book, Buck R. argues that the left hemisphere is responsible for causing an attachment to those closely related to us.

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