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      Prosocial Behavior: Multilevel Perspectives

      1 , 2 , 3 , 4
      Annual Review of Psychology
      Annual Reviews

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          Abstract

          Current research on prosocial behavior covers a broad and diverse range of phenomena. We argue that this large research literature can be best organized and understood from a multilevel perspective. We identify three levels of analysis of prosocial behavior: (a) the "meso" level--the study of helper-recipient dyads in the context of a specific situation; (b) the micro level--the study of the origins of prosocial tendencies and the sources of variation in these tendencies; and (c) the macro level--the study of prosocial actions that occur within the context of groups and large organizations. We present research at each level and discuss similarities and differences across levels. Finally, we consider ways in which theory and research at these three levels of analysis might be combined in future intra- and interdisciplinary research on prosocial behavior.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Annual Review of Psychology
          Annu. Rev. Psychol.
          Annual Reviews
          0066-4308
          1545-2085
          February 2005
          February 2005
          : 56
          : 1
          : 365-392
          Affiliations
          [1 ]Karmanos Cancer Institute/Family Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 40202, and Research Center for Group Dynamics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109; email:
          [2 ]Psychology Department, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269; email:
          [3 ]Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706; email:
          [4 ]University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701; email:
          Article
          10.1146/annurev.psych.56.091103.070141
          15709940
          210f808b-934d-469a-9fdf-65af64d9d473
          © 2005
          History

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