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      My Brother’s Keeper? : Compassion Predicts Generosity More Among Less Religious Individuals

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          Prosocial behavior: multilevel perspectives.

          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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            Having less, giving more: the influence of social class on prosocial behavior.

            Lower social class (or socioeconomic status) is associated with fewer resources, greater exposure to threat, and a reduced sense of personal control. Given these life circumstances, one might expect lower class individuals to engage in less prosocial behavior, prioritizing self-interest over the welfare of others. The authors hypothesized, by contrast, that lower class individuals orient to the welfare of others as a means to adapt to their more hostile environments and that this orientation gives rise to greater prosocial behavior. Across 4 studies, lower class individuals proved to be more generous (Study 1), charitable (Study 2), trusting (Study 3), and helpful (Study 4) compared with their upper class counterparts. Mediator and moderator data showed that lower class individuals acted in a more prosocial fashion because of a greater commitment to egalitarian values and feelings of compassion. Implications for social class, prosocial behavior, and economic inequality are discussed.
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              God is watching you: priming God concepts increases prosocial behavior in an anonymous economic game.

              We present two studies aimed at resolving experimentally whether religion increases prosocial behavior in the anonymous dictator game. Subjects allocated more money to anonymous strangers when God concepts were implicitly activated than when neutral or no concepts were activated. This effect was at least as large as that obtained when concepts associated with secular moral institutions were primed. A trait measure of self-reported religiosity did not seem to be associated with prosocial behavior. We discuss different possible mechanisms that may underlie this effect, focusing on the hypotheses that the religious prime had an ideomotor effect on generosity or that it activated a felt presence of supernatural watchers. We then discuss implications for theories positing religion as a facilitator of the emergence of early large-scale societies of cooperators.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Social Psychological and Personality Science
                Social Psychological and Personality Science
                SAGE Publications
                1948-5506
                1948-5514
                January 2013
                January 2013
                : 4
                : 1
                : 31-38
                Article
                10.1177/1948550612444137
                d1589924-5f80-4683-b23a-0d55d14c77e8
                © 2013
                History

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