How can social bonds in society be strengthened? How do we learn and develop prosocial behaviour?
This comprehensive textbook provides up-to-date coverage of the social phenomenon of prosocial behaviour, incorporating all the major developments in the fields of developmental and social psychology. The first section identifies different forms of prosocial behaviour, including estimates of prevalence in everyday situations and the controversy between biological and cultural perspectives as explanatory models of prosocial behaviour. The second and third sections focus on learning and development, with emphasis on social learning, responsibility, empathy and guilt. The fourth section explores the prevalence of prosocial behaviour, in particular the situational and personality factors which inhibit urgently needed prosocial behaviour. The final section is devoted to practical applications, such as how to increase the likelihood that people will work as volunteers in community organisations and how to heighten the willingness to offer first aid.
This book will be an invaluable resource for both undergraduate and postgraduate students of social psychology and sociology, as well as anyone with an interest in social services and voluntary organisations.
Hans-Werner Bierhoff is a Professor of Psychology at Ruhr-University Bochum.