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Structural and proscessual determinants of Prosocial behaviors Guido Alessandri University of Rome La Sapienza July 4, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Structural and proscessual determinants of Prosocial behaviors Guido Alessandri University of Rome La Sapienza July 4, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Structural and proscessual determinants of Prosocial behaviors Guido Alessandri University of Rome La Sapienza July 4, 2013

2 Prosocial behavior refers to individual tendency to undertake voluntary actions aimed at benefiting others, such as sharing, donating, caring, comforting, and helping (Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998; Penner, Dovidio, Piliavin, & Schroeder, 2005) BENEFITS FOR THE TARGETS OF PROSOCIAL ACTIONS BENEFITS FOT THE BENEFACTORS PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR - DEFINITION

3 Early prosocial behavior contributes to accomplishments in social and academic domains and in warding off depression and transgressive behavior in children and adolescents ( Bandura, Caprara, Barbaranelli, Pastorelli, & Regalia, 2001; Bandura, Pastorelli, Barbaranelli, & Caprara, 1999; Caprara, Barbaranelli, Pastorelli, Bandura, & Zimbardo, 2000). In adulthood prosocial behavior foster self-enhancement, self-acceptance and successful psychosocial adaptation, as it promotes ones own integration in the community, positive mood, staying healthy, and life satisfaction (Caprara & Steca, 2005; Keyes, 1999; Oman, Thoresen, & McMahon, 1999; Piliavin, 2003; Van Willigen, 2000; Young & Glasgow, 1998). PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR – BENEFITS ALONG THE LIFE COURSE

4 Rearing practices Social norms Biology Moral development Emotional and social competence Personal values PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR – ORIGINS

5 TWO MAJOR DIRECTIONS OF RESEARCH The dispositional approach The social cognitive approach

6 The study of patterns of affect, cognition and behavior that result in stable behavioral tendencies and allow to distinguish people one from another. THE DISPOSITIONAL APPROACH

7 Big Five model: a simple, comprehensive, system to describe and to classify main individual differences at the level of habitual behaviors. EXTRAVERSION /ENERGY FRIENDLINESS/AGREEABLENESS CONSCIENTIOUSNESS NEUROTICISM/EMOTIONAL INSTABILITY MENTAL OPENNESS (McCrae & Costa, 1996;, Goldberg, 1993; John, 1990) THE DISPOSITIONAL APPROACH


9 Pros and Cons Traits account for major individual differences in stable patterns of affect, cognition and action Yet, one cant fully account for personality functioning without addressing, along with structures, the processes that allow personality to function as a self-referent and self-regulatory system

10 The big five model leaves out evaluative terms, and broadly speaking, leaves out all values relateddimensions (i.e., there is no place in the big five model for things like spirituality) Values are general beliefs about priorities in life and what is desirable. Values provide the reference system that sets and guides personal concerns and standards that people adopt to select activities and to evaluate their behaviors VALUES

11 POWER: He likes to be in charge and tell others what to do. He wants people to do what he says. ACHIEVEMENT: Being very successful is important to him. He likes to stand out and to impress other people. HEDOMISM: He really wants to enjoy life. Having a good time is very important to him. STIMULATION: He looks for adventures and likes to take risks. He wants to have an exciting life. SELF-DIRECTION: He thinks its important to be interested in things. He is curios and tries to understand everything.

12 UNIVERSALISM: He thinks it is important that every person in the world should be treated equally. He wants justice for everybody, even for people he doesnt know. BENEVOLENCE: He always wants to help the people who are close to him. Its very important to him to care for the people he knows and likes. TRADITION: He thinks it is important to do things the way he learned from her family. He wants to follow their customs and traditions. CONFORMITY: He believes that people should do what theyre told. He thinks people should follow rules at all times, even when no one is watching. SECURITY: The safety of his country is very important to him. He wants his country to be safe from its enemies.

13 SCHWARTZ S VALUES SYSTEM (1992) SELF-TRASCENDENCE OPENNESS TO CHANGE Self- Universalism Direction Stimulation Benevolence Hedonism Conformity Tradition Achievement Security Power SELF-ENHANCEMENT CONSERVATION


15 People are active agents socially situated, who contribute to the nature and the quality of their own life by shaping appropriate course of action in accordance with goals and personal standards HUMAN AGENCY THE SOCIAL COGNITIVE APPROACH

16 SELF-REFLECTIVENESS FORETHOUGHT SELF-REACTIVENESS INTENTIONALITY It is a major feature of human agency that corresponds to the propensity to prioritize goals and to accord behaviors to ones priorities INTENTIONALITY

17 SELF-REFLECTIVENESS People evaluate their motivation,values, the meaning of their life pursuits and the effectiveness of their actions. SELF-REACTIVENESS People do things that give them self-satisfaction and a sense of pride and self-worth, and refrain from behaving in ways that give rise to self- dissatisfaction,self-devaluation and self-censure FORETHOUGHT People set goals for themselves and anticipate the likely consequences of prospective actions

18 Self-efficacy Beliefs Values PROSOCIAL AGENCY

19 People undertake activities and persevere in the face of difficulties only if they believe they are able to produce desired results SELF - EFFICACY BELIEFS

20 Influence motivation determining: Objectives Efforts Perseverance in the face of difficulties Reactions in face of failures SELF - EFFICACY BELIEFS

21 A CONCEPTUAL MODEL ProsocialbehaviorProsocialbehavior ValuesValues TraitsTraits Self-efficacybeliefsSelf-efficacybeliefs


23 I am pleased to help my classmates/colleagues in their activities I share the things that I have with my friends I try to help others I am available for volunteer activities to help those who are in need I am emphatic with those who are in need I help immediately those who are in need I do what I can to help others avoid getting into trouble I intensely feel what others feel I am willing to make my knowledge and abilities available to others I try to console those who are sad I easily lend money or other things I easily put myself in the shoes of those who are in discomfort I try to be close to and take care of those who are in need I easily share with friends any good opportunity that comes to me I spend time with those friends who feel lonely I to me immediately sense my friends discomfort even when it is not directly communicated Caprara G.V., Steca, P., Zelli, A., & Capanna, C., (2005). A new scale for measuring adultsprosocialness. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 21, 77-89. Alpha=.93; Interinformant agreement (self-others)=.50 The scale of Prosocial Behavior

24 AFFECTIVE REGULATORY AND SOCIAL, EMPATHIC SELF-EFFICACY BELIEFS: beliefs to be able to manage affects, relations with others and to be empathetic with others feelings SELF-TRASCENDENCE: values emphasizing acceptance of others and concern for their wellness AGREEABLENESS: dispositions to be cooperative and collaborative with others MAJOR DETERMINANTS OF PROSOCIAL AGENCY

25 Alessandri, Caprara, Eisenberg, & Steca (2009). Reciprocal relations among self-efficacy beliefs and prosociality across time. Journal of Personality, 77, 1229-1259 STUDY 1 – Processual determinants of Prosociality

26 .47 (.50) Prosocial Behavior Self Efficacy Negative Affect Self Efficacy Negative Affect Self Efficacy Positive Affect Empathic Self Efficacy Negative Affect Self Efficacy Positive Affect Empathic Self Efficacy Positive Affect Empathic Self Efficacy.40 (.40).56 (.64).22 (.24).40 (.39).25 (.27).27 (.26).25 (.26).47 (.47).23 (.21).50 (.49).31 (.29).20 (.19).15 (.18).20 (.16).12 (.12).25 (.19).63 (.50).53 (.69).61 (.66).42 (.44).43 (.52).55 (.56).08 (.11).21 (.21).34 (.37).20 (.24).17 (.12).13 (.22).38 (.46).29 (.28).25 (.25).32 (.40).25 (.32).15 (.16).11 (.12) Prosocial Behavior Prosocial Behavior (age 17)(age 19)(age 20) First path coefficients are for boys, coefficients in parentheses are for girls. All paths are significant ( p<.05) Determinants of prosocial behavior during the transition to adulthood χ 2 (94) = 115.34, p <.07, CFI =.991, TLI =.988, RMSEA =.031 (.00 -.049)

27 STUDY 2 – Structural (i.e., trait agreaableness) and Processual deteminats of Prosociality Caprara, Alessandri, Panerai, & Eisenberg, (2010). The contribution of agreaableness and self-esfficacy beliefs to prosociaity. European Journal of Personality, 55, 36-55

28 T1 Prosociality T1 Prosociality T1 Agreeableness T1 Agreeableness T2 Agreeableness R 2 =.20 (.31) T2 Agreeableness R 2 =.20 (.31) T2 Empathic Self-efficacy R 2 =.24 (.11) T2 Empathic Self-efficacy R 2 =.24 (.11) T2 Prosociality R 2 =.21 (.21) T2 Prosociality R 2 =.21 (.21) T1 Empathic Self-efficacy T1 Empathic Self-efficacy.25 (.29).17 (.10).16 (.23).44 (.56).44 (.26).12 (.17).42 (.33).57 (.36).30 (.15).34 (.16).18 (.22).38 (.43) χ2 (gdl=12,N=377) = 17.32, p <.14, CFI =.99, TLI =.978 RMSEA =.049 (00 -.097) Agreeableness, empathic self-efficacy and prosocial behavior from age 17 to age 19

29 STUDY 3 – Testing the full model Caprara, Alessandri, & Eisenberg, (In press). Prosociality: The contribution of traits, values and self-efficacy beliefs. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2011.

30 Prosociality T1 Prosociality T1 Prosociality T2 R 2 =.58 (.57) Prosociality T2 R 2 =.58 (.57) Self Transcendence T2 R 2 =.48 (.43) Self Transcendence T2 R 2 =.48 (.43) Agreeableness T2 R 2 =.71(.65) Agreeableness T2 R 2 =.71(.65) Empathic Self-efficacy T1 Empathic Self-efficacy T1 Self Transcendence T1 Self Transcendence T1 Agreeableness T1 Agreeableness T1 Empathic Self-efficacy T2 R 2 =.33 (.36) Empathic Self-efficacy T2 R 2 =.33 (.36).58 (.54).84 (.80).44 (.47).19 (.20).55 (.51).20 (.19).15 (.17).65 (.63).60 (.44).68 (.64).64 (.61).55 (.58).69 (.67).33 (.27).73 (.67).23 (.11).44 (.47) Peer Self.47 (.46).95 (.91).52 (.45).24 (21).07(.07).16 (.15) χ 2 (45) = 51.86, p =.20, CFI = 1.00, TLI =.99, RMSEA =.030 (.00 -.061) Agreeableness, self-trascendecnce empathic self-efficacy and prosocial behavior from age 21 to age 26

31 CONCLUSIONS Findings may guide interventions aimed at promoting behavioral tendencies that over the entire course of life, while benefiting others, may carry others recognition and be conducive to self-actualization and successful adaptation

32 Thank you for attention!

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