Prosociality refers to stable and consistent individual differences in the tendency to perform voluntary behaviors intended to benefit others, such as sharing, helping, and comforting. Even though there is a debate regarding the presence of prosociality as one stable and consistent trait, many researchers accept the notion of meaningful individual differences in the tendency for prosocial responding expressed as prosociality and investigate the consistency, stability, and origin of such differences. Because humans are social beings who live in groups, prosocial behaviors constitute one of the foundations of human society. Therefore, understanding the development and origins of prosociality is of great importance. This entry first describes general development of prosociality throughout the life span, including questions of stability and consistency, and then discusses different factors involved ...

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