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The structure of human prosociality: Differentiating altruistically motivated, norm motivated, strategically motivated and self-reported prosocial behavior

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Böckler,  Anne
Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Julius Maximilian University, Würzburg, Germany;

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Tusche,  Anita
Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA;

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Singer,  Tania
Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Böckler, A., Tusche, A., & Singer, T. (2016). The structure of human prosociality: Differentiating altruistically motivated, norm motivated, strategically motivated and self-reported prosocial behavior. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 7(6), 530-541. doi:10.1177/1948550616639650.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-7AFE-E
Abstract
Prosocial behavior is crucial for functioning societies. However, its reliable scientific assessment and the understanding of its underlying structure are still a challenge. We integrated 14 paradigms from diverse disciplines to identify reliable and method-independent subcomponents of human prosociality; 329 participants performed game theoretical paradigms and hypothetical distribution tasks commonly used in behavioral economics and completed interactive computer tasks and self-reports typically employed in psychology. Four subcomponents of prosociality were identified by exploratory factor analysis and verified by confirmatory factor analysis in an independent sample: altruistically motivated prosocial behavior, norm motivated prosocial behavior, strategically motivated prosocial behavior, and self-reported prosocial behavior. Altruistically motivated behavior was related to gender, to enhanced cognitive skills, and to reduced negative affect. Our study provides a crucial step toward an overarching framework on prosocial behavior that will benefit future research on predictors, neural underpinnings, and plasticity of human cooperation and prosociality.