Positive Social Behavior and Morality

Positive Social Behavior and Morality

Social and Personal Influences

1st Edition - January 28, 1978

Write a review

  • Author: Ervin Staub
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483267012

Purchase options

Purchase options
DRM-free (PDF)
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out

Institutional Subscription

Free Global Shipping
No minimum order


Positive Social Behavior and Morality: Social and Personal Influences, Volume I presents the broad range of influences that encourage or inhibit people to behave positively towards others and how varied forms of positive behavior are determined. The book examines the various aspects of positive social behavior. It starts by providing the definition, significance, and relationship of positive or prosocial behavior to morality. Topics on why people behave prosocially; the determinants of people helping other people in physical distress; effects of harm doing on prosocial behavior; the limitations of current methods; the goals for future study in the field of prosocial behavior; and a theoretical model for predicting prosocial behavior are presented as well. Psychologists, sociologists, researchers, and students in the field of sociology and psychology will find this book interesting.

Table of Contents

  • Contents



    Chapter 1 Positive Behavior, Morality, and Human Nature

    Prosocial Behavior: Definition, Significance, and Relationship to Morality

    Prosocial Acts and Altruistic Motives

    Morality and Human Nature

    Sources of Morality

    Genetic Origins of Altruism

    Social Evolution in Contrast to Biological Evolution

    Prosocial Behavior in Animals

    Chapter 2 Personality, the Situation, and the Determination of Prosocial Behavior

    Why People Behave Prosocially


    Personal Values and Norms

    Empathy and Identification with Other People

    A Theoretical Model for Predicting Prosocial Behavior

    Personal Goals and the Activating Potential of Situations

    Goal Conflict and Conflict Resolution

    The Measurement of Goals and Activating Potentials

    Other Personality Influences on Goal Activation and Behavior

    Perceptual Tendencies


    A Person's State of Well-Being and the Connection between the Self and Others

    Justification Processes

    Supporting Research

    Classes of Influences on Prosocial Behavior

    Chapter 3 Determinants of People Helping Other People in Physical Distress

    The Early Research of Latané and Darley

    The Influence of Others

    Defining the Situation, Defining the Appropriate Response, and Communicating Expectations about Appropriate Behavior

    Diffusion of Responsibility and Normative Explanations of Helping Behavior

    Stimulus Characteristics That Affect Helping

    Variation in Ambiguity

    The Degree of Need, the Cost of Helping, and the Opportunity to Escape

    Spontaneous (or Impulsive) Helping

    Temporary States of the Actor, Stimulus Overload, Urban-Rural Helping, and Personality

    Summary of Situational Influences

    Personality and Helping Others in Physical Need

    Moral Reasoning and Helping Behavior

    The Influence of Combinations of Personal Characteristics and of Situations

    Personality and the Influence of the Number of Bystanders on Helping

    The Personalities of Helpful Individuals

    Chapter 4 Observing and Causing Harm to Others: Affective, Cognitive, and Behavioral Consequences

    Empathy and Prosocial Behavior

    Physiological Arousal in Response to Another's Suffering

    The Reinforcing Effect of Reducing Another's Pain or Distress

    Perceptual-Cognitive Set, Empathy, and Helping

    Individual Differences That Affect Empathic Reactions

    Demonstrating the Influence of Empathy on Prosocial Behavior

    Empathy-Related Issues

    Just World, Devaluation, and Aggression

    Research on the Just-World Hypothesis

    Conditions Affecting Devaluation

    Devaluation and Helping Others

    Harmdoing Trangression, and Their Consequences

    Questions and Problems; Research and Theoretical Issues

    Proposed Explanations of the Effects of Harmdoing

    Comparing the Effects of Observing and of Causing Harm

    Alternative Explanations

    Conclusions, Issues, and Limitations of Research

    Can Violence Be Constructive?

    Chapter 5 Prosocial Behavior in Response to Varied Needs

    Social Influence

    The Effects of Exposure to Others' Deeds and Words

    Research on Modeling and Verbal Communications by Models

    Attributions about Models' Motives as a Determinant of Imitation

    Verbal Communications That Specify Behavioral Rules

    The Effects of Vicarious Reinforcement

    Summary of Modeling and Verbalization Influences

    Reactance and Prosocial Behavior

    Verbal Requests, Reactions to Helping, Self-Attribution, and Later Positive Behavior

    Changes in Self-Perception and Positive Behavior

    Additional Studies of Reactions to Help Giving and Positive Behavior

    Stimulus Influence

    Degree of Dependence and Need

    Sex Differences in Reactions to Dependence

    Internal versus External Sources of Dependence

    Additional Studies on How the Degree of Need and the Degree of Cost Influence Helping

    The Meaning and Validity of Research

    Decision Making, Personal Norms, and Helping Behavior

    Schwartz's Decisional Model

    Specific Norms versus General Orientations

    An Additional Decision-Making Model

    Individual Characteristics and Helping Behavior

    Sex Differences and Helping Behavior

    Morally Relevant Characteristics and Positive Behavior

    The Capacity for Control, Competence, Social Desirability, and Other Nonmoral Characteristics

    Issues for Future Research

    Chapter 6 Orientation to the Self and Others: The Effects of Positive and Negative Experiences, Thoughts, and Feelings

    The Effects of Success and Failure, Moods, and Self-Concern on Positive Behavior


    Success and Failure

    The Effects of Positive Experiences

    The Psychological Consequences That Mediate the Effects of Positive and Negative Experiences and States

    Preoccupation with the Self and Self-Concern

    Sense of Potency

    Benevolence to the Self and to Others: Strengthened or Weakened Bonds

    Sense of Well-Being and Hedonic Balancing

    Individual Differences in Sense of Well-Being, Characteristic Moods, and Levels of Self-Esteem

    Self-Esteem and Prosocial Action in Everyday Interactions

    Chapter 7 The Connection between Self and Others: Similarity, Attraction, and Common Group Membership

    Conditions That Affect the Bond between the Self and Others

    Similarity in Attitudes, Opinions, and Personalities

    Prior Experience with Another Person

    Common Group Membership: Race, Sex, Nationality, and Other Criteria

    Shared Humanity and Orientation toward Other Human Beings

    Personality and the Bond between Self and Others

    Variations in the Bond between the Self and Others

    Chapter 8 Exchange and Reciprocity in Positive and Negative Behavior

    The Nature of Social Exchange

    Reciprocity and Equity in Social Exchange

    Beliefs about and Preferences for Reciprocity

    Indebtedness, Help Seeking, and Reactions to Receiving Help

    Reciprocity in Behavior

    Generalized Reciprocity

    Perceived Intent of a Benefactor (or Harmdoer) and Its Effect on Reciprocity

    Conditions That Affect the Attribution of Prosocial Intention

    Personality Differences in Making Attributions and in Reciprocity

    Reciprocity between Friends and Transactions in Prosocial Behavior

    Reciprocity in Everyday Life

    Trust in Other People

    Chapter 9 Cooperation and Intimate Relationships: Further Explorations in Human Transactions

    Determinants of Cooperation

    Inducing Cooperation and Its Consequences

    The Development and Maintenance of Intimate Relationships

    Relationships: Their Formation and Nature


    Principles of Interaction in Extended Relationships

    A Model of Interpersonal Relationships

    Chapter 10 Summary and Conclusions: The Determinants of Positive Behavior

    Limitations of Our Knowledge: Future Goals

    How Does Positive Behavior (Or Its Absence) Come About?

    Moving from Perception to Action

    The Influence of Cultures


    Subject Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 506
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1978
  • Published: January 28, 1978
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483267012

About the Author

Ervin Staub

Ratings and Reviews

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for "Positive Social Behavior and Morality"