Pro Social Behaviour
Prosocial behavior occurs when people act to benefit others rather than themselves. Altruism, cooperation, and caregiving are a few examples of prosocial behavior.
Research reveals that those who act prosocially tend to be happier, healthier, and live longer. Those who don’t act prosocially tend to suffer the psychological cost that comes with guilt.
Prosocial behavior is contagious. Studies show that people who see others act prosocially are more likely to do so themselves.
So, while prosocial behavior may often go unnoticed, it can be argued that it is the cornerstone of a just and decent society.
Evolutionary roots for prosocial behavior
Our evolutionary past may provide keys about why we help. Our very survival was no doubt promoted by the prosocial relations with clan and family members, and, as a hereditary consequence, we may now be especially likely to help those closest to us—blood-related relatives with whom we share a genetic heritage. According to evolutionary psychology, we are helpful in ways that increase the chances that our DNA will be passed along to future generations —the goal of the “selfish gene”. Our personal DNA may not always move on, but we can still be successful in getting some portion of our DNA transmitted if our daughters, sons, nephews, nieces, and cousins survive to produce offspring. The favoritism shown for helping our blood relatives is called kin selection.
Examples of Pro Social Behaviours
Pro-social behavior should only refer to activities that honor the recipient’s interests. And as long as the would-be philanthropist considers those interests and tries to satisfy them, any act of helping or sharing may be considered philanthropic—even if it happens to be driven by a high degree of self-benefit.
Lifevest inside: By Living Kindly Change is Possible!
Life Vest Inside is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring, empowering and educating people of all backgrounds to lead a life of kindness.
Back in 2010, LIFE VEST INSIDE founder created Kindness Boomerang, showing how one kind choice leads to another. The film went viral reaching over 100 million people globally and inspired many kindness films to follow. With that the Kindness Revolution began!
Life Vest Inside is a perfect testament to the fact that one person can truly spark positive change far beyond their own reach. It all grew out of Middle School educator, Orly Wahba’s childhood dream to bring the world together through the power of kindness. In 2011, Orly founded Life Vest Inside, a global leader in the kindness movement.
Why do people help other people?
Research suggests there are many other reasons. Altruism is people’s desire to help others even if the costs outweigh the benefits of helping. In fact, people acting in altruistic ways may disregard the personal costs associated with helping.
Some researchers suggest that altruism operates on empathy. Empathy is the capacity to understand another person’s perspective, to feel what he or she feels. An empathetic person makes an emotional connection with others and feels compelled to help.
Other researchers argue that altruism is a form of selfless helping that is not motivated by benefits or feeling good about oneself. Certainly, after helping, people feel good about themselves, but some researchers argue that this is a consequence of altruism, not a cause. Other researchers argue that helping is always self-serving because our egos are involved, and we receive benefits from helping.
It is challenging to determine experimentally the true motivation for helping, whether is it largely self-serving (egoism) or selfless (altruism). Thus, a debate on whether pure altruism exists continues..
Professor Stephen G. Post
Stephen G. Post, PhD, is the bestselling author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer, Happier, Healthier Life by the Simple Act of Giving (Random House, 2008).
The British Medical Journal designated his book, The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), a medical classic of the 20th century.
Post is among a handful of individuals awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the national Alzheimer’s Association.
In 2001 he founded the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, which researches and distributes knowledge on kindness, giving, and spirituality.
A frequent contributor to major magazines and newspapers including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Time Magazine, Post has appeared on The Daily Show among other national television programs.
Post served as a co-chair of the United Nations Population Fund conference on spirituality and global transformation.
He is a Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University, and the founder and director of the Stony Brook Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics.
A leader in medicine, research and religion, Dr. Post’s latest book is a meditation on the meaning of life and the importance of spirituality.
Editor’s Desk: Rx It’s Good To Be Good
God and Love on Route 80: The Hidden Mystery of Human Connectedness
God and Love on Route 80 is the highly entertaining true story of a cross-country road trip and a spiritual journey that led one young man to the discovery that a powerful force carries us toward our destinies. Written by Professor Stephen G. Post. this book touches on the essential meaning of life and the messages we may all miss unless we begin paying close attention.
The story feels to me: wise, gentle, important, surprising and enjoyable… There are a few illuminating medical & scientific studies closely examined & explained within its pages…
If I could, I’d gift this book to EVERYONE, including you right now… because I’d wish for you a similar connection to the messages that I experienced…
In the meantime, please get this book, and enjoy reading it… and perhaps you too will want to pass it on & pay it forward.
Know that this book isn’t really about “God” per se – There are beautiful & profound lessons… and is perfect for those who don’t necessary “resonate” with GOD as such, and it’s also perfect for those who do.
As I reflected whilst I was reading… my mind wandering… I had tears of joy, remembering, peacefulness…
It has fanned a flame & reignited commitments I’ve made with the healing I’ve been doing for decades as a therapist, author, teacher, coach & retreat leader.
See what Prof. Stephen G. Post says about Positive Prime
Other Useful Articles
Prosocial behavior, the ability for children to voluntarily act in a positive, accepting, helpful, and cooperative manner, has been associated with many factors of well-being.
Prosocial behavior has been correlated with positive social interaction skills, positive self-concept, positive peer relationships, peer acceptance.
Prosocial behavior is voluntary behavior intended to benefit another person or society. People often associate it with altruistic behavior – which is accurate – but it can also be the result of practical concerns spurred by self-interest. Prosocial behavior can include volunteering, donating, assisting in an emergency or simply sharing, whether or not a person expects reciprocity.
Happiness researcher Sean Achor demonstrated through his extensive research that if you perform random acts of kindness for two minutes a day for twenty-one days, you can actually retrain your brain to be more positive. Studies such as his show that when your brain is more positive you are more likely to be creative, intelligent and productive. These attributes can spin into what we perceive as ‘quality of life’ attributes – job success, wealth, healthy relationships, and better health. This adage, that happiness breeds success, is counterintuitive to what Western society popularly perceives as the opposite, that success lends itself to happiness.
Pro-Social Behaviour and Positive Prime
You will see many images within each Session that demonstrate certain habits, dispositions, ways of being and working. You will see photos that show collaboration, kindness, helping, supportive behaviors & volunteering. Our intention is to spark your imagination & provoke “visualization”. Our hope is to inspire the world to be more kind & for everyone to go out of their way to lend a hand & create a brighter future for all, whilst we all experience peace “in the now”. To that end, we are very careful about the images we curate and the reasons why.
Shawn Achor is the NY Times bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage and Big Potential. Shawn has worked in 50 countries with nearly half the Fortune 100 and everywhere from Camp David and Harvard to shantytowns in Zimbabwe and children’s cancer wards in Boston. After spending twelve years at Harvard University, Shawn has become one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success. His research on happiness made the cover of Harvard Business Review,
Big Potential by Shawn Achor
When we pursue success in isolation – pushing others away as we push ourselves too hard – we are not just limiting our potential, we are becoming more stressed and disconnected. Shawn Achor reveals a better approach. Drawing on his work in 50 countries, he shows that success and happiness depend almost entirely on how well we connect with, relate to, and learn from each other. Every dimension of human potential – performance, intelligence, creativity, leadership ability and health – is influenced by those around us. When we help others become better, we reach new levels of potential, as well.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
In Shawn Achor’s book ‘Big Potential’ Chapter 2. Lifting the invisible ceiling of potential, Shawn discussed how we are able to achiueve more success, suprass more obstacles when we have other people who provides us resources and support.
Researchers Simone Schnall, Kent D. Harber, Jeanine K. Stefanucci and Dennis R. Proffitt found that if you are looking at a hill and judging how steep it is, the mere presence of social support around you transforms your perception. In fact, if you look at the hill while standing next to someone you consider to be a friend, the hill looks 10 to 20 percent less steep than if you were facing the hill alone.
Perception of your objective, physical world is tranformed by including others in your pursuit of achirevenmtn, in short we need each other!
Farmingham Heart Study
Furthermore, Shawn Achor’s book ‘Big Potential’, Shawn talked about the decades-long study in Farminham, Massachusetts. The study have revealed powerful findings about the relationship between social connections and our cardiovascular health.
In the research, they found out that having healthy individuals in our community or network actually increase the chances that we ourselves will be healthier.
These findings, and other like them, have kcicked the door wide open for an entire firld of study that combins positive psychology with Big Data to show how powerfully our social ecosystem impoacts sop much more than just our physical health.
Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler
Researchers Nicholas Christakis from Harvard Medical and James Fowler from UC San Diego took this line of research one step further. If our physical health is interconnected, they wondered, might our emotional health and happiness be interconnected as well? Incredibly Fowler and Christakis found that it was more interconnected than we ever imagined.
According to their analysis, if you became happier, any friend within a one-mile radius would be 63% more likely to also become happier. They also found that if you are currently not happy but surround yourself with happy people, your likelihood of finding happiness increase dramatically.
In short, being surrounded by happy people doesn’t guarantee you happiness, but it significantly improves your chances.