The factors like feeling, behavior and thoughts are being considered as one of the most significant variables which can be measured within a person. Social psychology is basically the interdisciplinary domain, which can have a firm impact on mitigating the gap in between sociology and psychology.
Social psychology is a much broader topic, which deals with the inner aspect of human being. This is basically the scientific study, which shades light on the way, through which feeling, thought and attitude of human being are impacted by both the real and imagined presence of others. According to Thibaut (2017) social psychology, in its simplest form is considered as the empirical mode of investing the inner-self of humans. The factors like feeling, behavior and thoughts are being considered as one of the most significant variables which can be measured within a person. Social psychology is basically the interdisciplinary domain, which can have a firm impact on mitigating the gap in between sociology and psychology.
Pro-social behavior is a major aspect of social psychology, which is defined as that kind of behavior, being produced for providing benefit to that of others. McDougall (2015) explored that helping, sharing, donating and cooperating are some of the major instances of pro-social behavior. This paper intends to discuss about pro-social behavior by considering major theoretical framework. The influential factors for producing such behavior will be highlighted and the norm of reciprocity will also be analyzed. As pro social behavior is a broader area, the helping attitude of strangers will be assessed.
Pro-social behavior deals with the helping attitude of others. In its simplest form, this pro-social behavior can also be referred as the intention to benefit another- one of the most significant aspect of social behavior, which can give benefit to the entre society. This is the socially acknowledged behavior, which is being showed by following certain rules and regulations in the society. Based on the discussion of Sherif (2015) empathy and willingness to protect the fundamental rights of others are two of the major factors that drive motivation among people to show pro-social behavior. Altruism, cooperation and giving care to others are some of the major instances of pro-social behavior. This is the major aspect of morality, which incorporates the desire of protecting the needs and interests of others in the society. Smith (2015) commented that pro-social behavior is entirely dependent on some of the specific personalities, which leads a people to help others to get out from any kind of difficult situation. The motivational factor behind such pro-social behavior such as the helping attitude of strangers is quite complicated. Empathy is the major factor, which lead people to help the strangers. Empathy is one of the major factors, which lead the people to help others. According to the notion of altruism, the people who help strangers are less likely to be selfish than that of others. However, Smith, Mackie and Claypool(2014) argued by saying that selfish reasons are also there behind helping others even in the most irrelevant situation. Researchers are showing that, the fundamental aim behind producing helping attitude to the strangers is to align the psychological self with that of the victims. In addition, strong desire to elevate the mood also acts as a driving factor in helping the strangers. Wyer(2014) highlighted that the fundamental aim behind helping the strangers is to overcome the feeling of distress.
Factors that Influence Pro-Social Behavior
Strong social bonding is one of the most significant outcomes of pro-social behavior. This is the way, through which interpersonal relationships can also be strengthened. This behavior is posing a major challenge for social scientists in order to explore the reasons, for which, people show desire towards helping the strangers. Shibutani(2017) showed by saying that such behavior among people is being fostered since childhood as the family members show encouraging attitude towards children for sharing, acting like responsible and give support to others. According to the Principles of Natural Selection, such traits among people are being inherited and no external forces can modify such behavior. Such traits are being passed from the parents to that of the offspring. Contrarily, Dovidioet al. (2017) showed that surviving on own gene to that of the future generation drives motivation among the people to help the family members. This is not so with the case of helping strangers.
The nature of situation also play a significant role in showing pro-social behavior. Verkuyten(2018) explored that bystander effect is the major instance for understanding how situation leads a people to help others. This can be referred as the phenomenon, where a large number of people are present but very few people show willingness to help a stranger person. In the case of any emergency situation, the observers show willingness to take prompt action. Altruism is one of the most significant form of social behavior, which can be defined as the way of showing unselfish concern for helping others. Altruism, in its simplest form is defined as the strong desire of helping others. This involves strong selflessness. Empathy is also a major factor which lead people to help the others. Empathy is basically the ability understand the experience of other people emotionally. This is an effective response to the requirements of others. Zahn-Waxler and Schoen (2016) shaded light on the ground that the children are more likely to become altruistic with the development of empathy. Lowering the negative feeling also acts as a driving force behind helping strangers. This supports in reducing the feeling like distress and help people to attain mental well-being.
According to the Norm of Reciprocity, the fundamental reason behind showing helping moral obligation for people to help the strangers. It is a common social norm, which acts as an obligation for human being to help people in return of favor. In the same way, pro-social behavior is also a moral obligation, which leads people to help and provide immense support to the people. Agreeing to the Theory of Unresponsive Bystander, there are multiple processes, which can have a firm impact on developing pro-social behavior (Roberts, Strayer& Denham, 2014). Diffusion of responsibility and fear of embarrassment are two of the major processes, which results in inhibition of pro-social behavior. Diffusion of responsibility can be considered as the bystander feeling, which leads people to be focused on their social responsibility. This results in leading the most responsible person to be united. Fear of embarrassment is another significant factor in the inhibition of pro-social behavior. This is one of the most stressful experiences of human being, which lowers the desire to help the others. This is basically, the fear of embarrassment, which results in social anxiety (Roberts, Strayer& Denham, 2014).
Helping Attitude of Strangers
Pro-social behavior is basically the outcome of helping others. As per the Reciprocal Altruism approach, Altruism is one of the most significant attitude, which can have a firm impact on giving benefit to that of others. Reciprocal altruism can happen at the time, when the helping behavior is being performed with the intention of getting the repayment in future (Bakopoulou&Dockrell, 2016). At the same time, Reciprocal altruism also shows that, it is quite impossible for human being to act selfishly for the sake of others. Based on the principle of natural selection, it can be said that mentality of parents and way of upbringing play a vital role in generating the helping attitude among the others. Reciprocal Altruism shows the fact that the underlying aim of people behind showing behavior such as sharing food is to strengthen their chance of survival (Mulder et al., 2016).
The theory of Prisoner’s Dilemma Game is needed to be considered in this context in order to discuss about reciprocal altruism in an in-depth manner (Duffy & Smith, 2014). According to this theory, the most elegant way of assessing the cooperative behavior is to assess the cooperative behavior of human being is to explore the context of game. This is the game, to which two of the isolated prisoners can decide whether to refuse or cooperate. This is one of the most effective strategies that support in strengthening the degree of interaction among the social groups. Based on the theory, it is worth to mention that the helping behavior are being produced by human being with the aim of getting favor in return of others. However, the ideology of reciprocal altruism has been criticized for being not relevant in the context of helping behavior. Malti, Dys and Zuffianò (2015) stated that this is not the genuine altruism, rather it is the selfish activity of getting repayment.
In the social context, it is the moral obligation among the people to show helping behavior even for the strangers. Based on the Grounded Theory of Helping Behavior, there are certain factors, such as empathy, kindness and pity act as a greatest motivation for human being to show helping attitude for that of others. The helping attitude of people generally incorporates both the personal conviction of helper and the rational deliberation of the situation (Pfeiffer, Pinquart&Krick 2016). On the other hand, according to Birch and Oshaka (2014), the kin selection model is more appropriate in this case. The philosophical belief of the people also plays a significant role in leading them to help the others. Such attitude also leads the people to strengthen their social relationship. Rational-pragmatic deliberation is one of the most significant process, which leads a person to help the strangers. The appropriateness of victim who is in need of help, the ability of the helpers and the cost of help are some of the major factors, influencing the helping attitude of strangers. Intention of surviving is one of the most significant factors that can lead the people to produce helping attitude. Kin Selection Model needs to be considered in this context, which shades light on the fact that, in order to increase the chances of survival, people generally produce helping behavior. This is the way, through which the share resources with each other, in order to get the same help in return. However, this model can be applied in the context of family. Verkuyten(2018) put stress on the fact that the ideology of helping strangers is absolutely absent in the model.
The notion of natural selection plays a major role in generating helping attitude among people. There lies the significance of natural selection, which put stress on the fact that self-centered interest is highly significant factor in showing helping attitude. Natural selection can be considered as the process of showing some of the significant trait and characteristics for the sake of helping the other. People pass these characteristics to their offspring. In this way, the helping attitude among the people is being developed since the childhood. Inclusive Fitness Theory is another major framework, developed by Hamilton. According to this theory, self-sacrificial behavior often determined by the way of upbringing (Sherif, 2015).
Pro-social behavior is one of the most significant way, through which, both interpersonal and social relationship can be strengthened. This is the way, through which sense of responsibility can also be improved among people. However, this attitude has also been criticized on the ground that some people can take irrelevant advantage of this people. Reciprocal helping is a major aspect of pro-social behavior, which shows that people are more likely to help the stranger with the intention of getting something in return. There are multiple condition results in helping attitude among people. Social group living is one of the most significant conditions, offering ample opportunity for the people to give as well as receive help. Mutual dependence is another major condition, which deals with the dependency of human being on the ideology of cooperation. Absence of any kind of dominant hierarchy can strengthen the power of humans to help the others.
Based on the discussion, it can be concluded by saying that pro-social behavior intends to give benefit to that of the others. Some time, this type of behavior is also being showed with the intention of getting the same help in return. Way of upbringing and family culture are the major factors, which can drive motivation among the people to help the strangers. People acquire such behavior from childhood, as it being transformed from the parents to that of offspring. Helping someone to get out from any irrelevant situation, sharing something are some of the major instances of pro-social behavior. This supports in building strong interpersonal connection, which is the key of strengthening social bond.
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