Distinguish between altruism and prosocial behavior
- In evolutionary biology, altruism is defined as behavior that benefits other organisms but has some costs. The costs and benefits are measured in terms of reproductive fitness (i.e. expected number of offspring).
- In social psychology altruism is a subcategory of helping behavior. It refers to a behavior that is meant to benefit another person rather than oneself.
- Behavior that benefits another person – sometimes at some costs.
- Prosocial behavior refers to acts intended to benefit others. These are acts that are positively valued by society. Aggressiveness and violent behavior are not valued by society and this kind of behavior is considered as “antisocial behavior”.
- Prosocial behavior could be any behavior that is initiated with the purpose of increasing another person’s physical or psychological well-being and has positive consequences for that person (e.g. helping, comforting, sharing).
- Intentional prosocial behavior is often called “helping behavior”. Donating money to refugees in Somalia or doing voluntary work are examples of prosocial behavior that aim to benefit other people.
- Behavior that benefits others or has positive social consequences.