The effect of social norms and the presence of bystanders on altruistic behavior

Stefano Ruggieri, Costanza Scaffidi Abbate, Stefano Ruggieri, Stefano Ruggieri

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1 Citazioni (Scopus)


In this chapter, prosocial behavior will be analyzed from a social psychology point of view, examining the theoretical contributions of the past ten years and highlighting the various interpretations that have been proposed. Specifically, the focus will be on the analysis of the motivations that characterize a person who behaves altruistically. Theoretical models that will be examined include those that consider the possibility of a genuine altruistic motivation, as well as those that hypothesize that true altruism does not exist. In fact, it will be shown how the motivation behind altruistic behavior has been interpreted differently by social psychologists as being either intrinsically egoistic (the person helping does so to improve his own well being) or truly altruistic (the only objective is to improve the wellbeing of the other person). Considering the vast literature focusing on the behavioral role of emotions, the leitmotif of this chapter consists of the analysis of emotional states that give rise to altruistic behavior. After surveying the classical theories of altruism in the first part of the chapter, the focus will shift towards the well known '‘Bystander Effect’’ - which governs altruistic behavior linked mostly to special situations where a person casually encounters someone in trouble and, as a consequence, decides whether or not to intervene.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteProsocial Behavior: Perspectives, Influences and Current Research
Numero di pagine39
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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