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Article

Timothy M. Waring, Abigail V. Sullivan and Jared R. Stapp

Prosociality may in part determine sustainability behavior. Prior research indicates that pro-environmental behavior correlates with prosocial attitudes, and separately…

Abstract

Purpose

Prosociality may in part determine sustainability behavior. Prior research indicates that pro-environmental behavior correlates with prosocial attitudes, and separately, that prosociality correlates with social support in homes and communities. Therefore, prosociality may constitute a keystone variable linking human well-being with pro-environmental behavior. The purpose of the paper is to test this conjecture.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from a multi-year student survey at the University of Maine on environmental behavior, prosociality and experienced social support are used. A two-stage least-squares regression is applied to explore the relationships between these variables, and sub-scale analysis of the pro-environmental responses is performed. Additionally, spatial statistics for the student population across the state are computed.

Findings

The data corroborate previous findings and indicates that social support within a community may bolster the prosociality of its members, which in turn may increase pro-environmental behaviors and intentions.

Research limitations/implications

Cross-sectional data do not permit the imputation of causality. Self-reported measures of behavior may also be biased. However, student prosociality surveys may provide an effective and low-cost sustainability metric for large populations.

Social implications

The results of this study corroborate prior research to suggest that pro-environmental and prosocial behaviors may both be enhanced by bolstering social support efforts at the community level.

Originality/value

It is suggested that prosociality could become a keystone sustainability indicator. The study’s results extend the understanding of the connections between prosociality, social support and pro-environmental behavior. The results of this study suggest that efforts to simultaneously improve the well-being and environmental status might focus on building prosociality and social support systems at the community level.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 17 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article

Takumi Yada, Eija Räikkönen, Kyoko Imai-Matsumura, Hiroshi Shimada, Rihei Koike and Aini-Kristiina Jäppinen

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the mediating role of prosociality, which is defined in terms of helping and benefitting others, between teacher collaboration…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the mediating role of prosociality, which is defined in terms of helping and benefitting others, between teacher collaboration and their turnover intentions. Prosociality was measured as prosocial impact and prosocial motivation.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was conducted through a cross-sectional survey of 260 elementary and junior high school teachers in Japan. A structural equational model was employed to examine the mediating roles of prosocial impact and prosocial motivation in the relationships between teacher collaboration and their turnover intention.

Findings

The results, first, supported the hypotheses: the high perception of teacher collaboration in school predicted high perceived prosocial impact; high perceived prosocial impact predicted high perceived prosocial motivation; and high perceived prosocial motivation predicted decreased turnover intention. Second, results supported partial mediating roles of prosocial impact and prosocial motivation between teacher collaboration and turnover intention.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of this study include cross-sectional data that may limit the potential for causal inferences, and self-report data. Future studies should incorporate alternative designs.

Practical implications

Results indicate that teacher collaboration contributes to less teacher turnover intention via prosociality. Thus, to enhance teachers’ prosocial impact, more opportunities to realise their collaboration should be considered.

Originality/value

This is the first study to explore the relationships between teacher collaboration and turnover intention in educational organisations with prosociality, which resides as core goals and objectives of teachers.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article

Guido Heineck

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between religious involvement and attitudinal (importance of helping others and of being socially active) and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between religious involvement and attitudinal (importance of helping others and of being socially active) and behavioral components of prosociality (volunteering, charitable giving, and blood donations) in Germany.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical analyses are based on representative, longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, which allows avoiding issues of reverse causality.

Findings

The results suggest for a moderate, positive link between individuals’ religious involvement as measured by church affiliation and church attendance and the prosociality aspects addressed. Despite the historic divide in religion, the results in West and East Germany do not differ substantially in terms of the underlying mechanisms.

Originality/value

The paper complements the growing literature from experimental economics on the relationship between individuals’ religiosity and their prosociality. Based on representative longitudinal data, it contributes by providing evidence for Germany for which there is barely any insight yet and by addressing a wider range of attitudinal and (self-reported) behavioral components of prosociality.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 44 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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Book part

Kyle Irwin

Why do strangers in collectivist societies act prosocially? Previous work indicates that generalized trust (trust in strangers) is necessary for prosocial behavior;…

Abstract

Why do strangers in collectivist societies act prosocially? Previous work indicates that generalized trust (trust in strangers) is necessary for prosocial behavior; however, generalized trust exists at low levels in collectivist societies. Researchers have also argued that without trust among strangers, social order is threatened. Yet, collectivist societies are not characterized by social disorder; therefore, individuals must be acting prosocially. Without generalized trust, how is this possible? In this work I argue that institutional trust (a belief that institutions induce others to act in a trustworthy manner) is responsible for prosociality in collectivist societies, not generalized trust. Does a similar relationship hold in individualist societies? Although some evidence suggests that prosocial behavior is predicated by generalized trust, other evidence indicates that the stronger predictor is institutional trust. All arguments are tested with data from the World Values Survey (WVS) with data from 14 countries. Results from regression analyses are reported. The chapter concludes with implications and directions for future work.

Details

Altruism and Prosocial Behavior in Groups
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-573-0

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Article

Stephanie Q. Liu and Anna S. Mattila

Presently, loyalty programs often offer preferential treatment to the firm’s best customers, and recently, service firms started to incorporate corporate social…

Abstract

Purpose

Presently, loyalty programs often offer preferential treatment to the firm’s best customers, and recently, service firms started to incorporate corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives into the loyalty reward programs (e.g. Starwood’s “Make A Green Choice”). However, academic research advancing the understanding of the effectiveness of CSR-focused loyalty programs is lacking. To bridge that gap, this paper aims to examine the influence of a “green” loyalty program on members’ and bystanders’ service encounter satisfaction in light of preferential treatment. Furthermore, this paper investigates the psychological mechanisms (prosociality perceptions and status perceptions) that underlie these effects.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a 2 (loyalty program: green vs standard) × 2 (customer type: member vs bystander) × 2 (observability of preferential treatment: low vs high) between-subjects experimental design. Respondents were asked to read a hotel check-in scenario and then completed scales that measured their perceptions and evaluations of the service encounter.

Findings

Results from this study suggest that a green loyalty program can buffer the negative effect of preferential treatment on bystanders’ service encounter satisfaction. An examination of the underlying mechanism reveals that prosociality perceptions of the firm mediate the impact of loyalty programs on bystanders’ satisfaction. As expected, the results show that a green loyalty program is as effective as a standard program in elevating members’ satisfaction. Furthermore, findings from a moderated mediation analysis indicate that status perceptions mediate the impact of customer type on satisfaction. However, status perceptions have a greater leveraging power in satisfaction when observability of preferential treatment is high.

Originality/value

The results of this study have significant implications for service firms with loyalty programs and customer prioritization practices. By incorporating CSR into their loyalty programs, firms may be able to mitigate the negative bystander effect while maintaining the positive effects of preferential treatment on members’ service encounter satisfaction.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article

Alexander Wettstein, Mara Brendgen, Frank Vitaro, Fanny‐Alexandra Guimond, Nadine Forget‐Dubois, Stéphane Cantin, Ginette Dionne and Michel Boivin

Distinguishing between physical and social aggression, this study aimed to examine whether the predictive effect of aggression on resource control is moderated by…

Abstract

Purpose

Distinguishing between physical and social aggression, this study aimed to examine whether the predictive effect of aggression on resource control is moderated by prosocial behavior and corresponds to a linear or a curvilinear trend. Moderating effects of children's social preference among peers and child sex in this context were also tested.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a sample of 682 kindergarten children (348 girls; average age 72.7 months, 3.6 SD), multilevel regressions revealed additive linear effects of social preference and prosociality on resource control.

Findings

Moderate (but not high) levels of social aggression also facilitated resource control for disliked children. There was no such threshold effect for well‐liked children, who increasingly controlled the resource the more socially aggressive they were. In contrast, physical aggression hampered resource control unless used very modestly.

Originality/value

The present study has a number of positive features. First, the distinction between physical and social aggression improves our understanding of the relation between aggression and social competence and sketches a more differentiated picture of the role of different forms of aggression in resource control. Second, this study combines the concept of resource control with the concept of social preference and investigates curvilinear effects of aggression. Third, the direct observation of resource control in the Movie Viewer increases the internal validity of this study.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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Book part

Benjamin Jewell and Amber Wutich

This chapter examines how religion and religiosity shape economic norms in Villa Israel, an urban squatter settlement in Cochabamba, Bolivia. In Villa Israel, residents…

Abstract

This chapter examines how religion and religiosity shape economic norms in Villa Israel, an urban squatter settlement in Cochabamba, Bolivia. In Villa Israel, residents share water with others to help overcome limited access to drinking water. Using a mixed methods approach, we draw on the results of ethnographic research and economic experiments. The analyses yield three key results. First, there were strong norms of generosity and charitable giving in the community. Second, religiosity was positively associated with generosity. People who adhered to Christian conceptions of charity and frequently attended religious services were more likely to give generously. While wealth was a limiting factor on some families' ability to give water, there was no evidence that the rich and poor endorsed different norms of fair giving. Third, the norms of fair giving varied in the context of the three most common reciprocal relationships in the community (family members, coreligionists, and neighbors). Compared with neighbors, exchanges between family members and coreligionists were relatively generous and permissive of self-interest. Based on these results, we conclude that the presence of strong Christian norms of generosity and fair giving is an important institutional mechanism for facilitating water reciprocity in this community.

Details

The Economics of Religion: Anthropological Approaches
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-228-9

Content available
Article

Karin A. Spenser, Ray Bull, Lucy Betts and Belinda Winder

Prosociality is considered important in the study of offenders and associated cognitive skills: theory of mind, empathic understanding and moral reasoning, are said to…

Abstract

Purpose

Prosociality is considered important in the study of offenders and associated cognitive skills: theory of mind, empathic understanding and moral reasoning, are said to enable self-control and reduce the risk of offending behaviours. Previous research has made associations between these skills and executive functioning; however, research into a link between them, in an offending population, is limited. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

To further understand the practicalities of this, the present study considered the predictive abilities of the constructs believed to underpin executive functioning: working memory, cognitive flexibility and inhibitory control, in relation to theory of mind, empathic understanding and moral reasoning. In total, 200 male and female offenders completed measures in all six constructs.

Findings

Using path analysis working memory was demonstrated to be predictive of theory of mind and empathic understanding, cognitive flexibility was found to be predictive of theory of mind, and inhibitory control was found to be predictive of theory of mind, empathic understanding and moral reasoning.

Research limitations/implications

The study focussed on offenders serving a custodial sentence of six months or less and did not differentiate between crime categories or take into consideration the socio-environmental backgrounds or ethnicity. Therefore, considering these things could further establish the generalisability of the current findings. It is noted that the more focussed the intervention is to the specific needs of an offender, the greater the impact will be. Therefore, pre-screening tests for the constructs discussed may be able to more accurately assess an offenders’ suitability for a programme, or indeed tailor it to meet the specific needs of that person.

Practical implications

These findings may enable practitioners to more accurately assess offenders’ suitability for interventions aimed at reducing offending behaviours by improving levels of prosociality and develop more focussed programmes to meet the specific needs of individual offenders to reduce re-offending.

Social implications

As recommended in the study, a more tailored approach to offender rehabilitation may be a potential aid to reducing levels of recidivism.

Originality/value

The present study adds to the literature as it is the first to consider whether the constructs of executive functioning can predict levels of theory of mind, empathic understanding and moral reasoning and so provide a more accurate method in assessing the cognitive abilities of offenders prior to participation in rehabilitative interventions.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

Keywords

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Article

Patrick Reichert, Matthew D. Bird and Vanina Farber

This study aims to examine gender differences in risk-taking and prosociality through a hypothetical labour market entry choice experiment.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine gender differences in risk-taking and prosociality through a hypothetical labour market entry choice experiment.

Design/methodology/approach

To explore differences between male and female subjects by risk levels and framing effects, a labour market entry choice task that manipulated risk conditions was administered to business school students whereby subjects chose between a managerial job at a company, starting a commercial business or starting a social enterprise. The experimental design isolated and tested the influence of the type of value creation, risk propensity and framing effects. The results were then statistically analysed to test for significant differences between the two gender groups.

Findings

Results indicate that in low-risk conditions women prefer the prosocial entrepreneurial option while men opt for purely commercial entrepreneurial activities. As risk increases, differences between men and women initially converge and then reverse under conditions of extreme risk, where men select the social entrepreneurial choice at a higher rate than women.

Research limitations/implications

The research was conducted within the single country context of Peru and carried out using a specific subset of potential entrepreneurs (i.e. business school students). Second and related, the experimental labour entry task was hypothetical. Whether decisions would hold if business school students faced an actual occupational choice remains open to further investigation.

Practical implications

The practical implication of the paper suggests that Peruvian business school students react differently towards potential labour market opportunities depending on their gender. Perhaps, because of gender biases common in the Latin American context, women appear to respond more positively to low-risk prosocial opportunities. However, as risk increases, contextual factors appear to become less important and reveal core sets of prosocially anchored men and commercially anchored women.

Originality/value

This research provides new insights into risk-taking and prosocial differences between men and women facing labour entry decisions, especially in a developing country context with strong gender norms, and is particularly useful to those with an interest in entrepreneurial propensity and in the identification and development of entrepreneurial women.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

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Book part

Brian Paciotti, Peter Richerson, Billy Baum, Mark Lubell, Tim Waring, Richard McElreath, Charles Efferson and Ed Edsten

We investigated the effect of religion on generosity, interpersonal trust, and cooperation by using games developed by experimental economists (Dictator, Trust, and Public…

Abstract

We investigated the effect of religion on generosity, interpersonal trust, and cooperation by using games developed by experimental economists (Dictator, Trust, and Public Goods). In these experiments, individuals were paired or grouped with unknown strangers to test the degree to which religion promotes prosocial behavior. We evaluated group- and individual-level effects of religion on prosocial behavior across the three games. Although playing the games in a religious setting showed no overall difference as compared to a secular setting, we did find a weak association between some individual-level dimensions of religiosity and behavior in some of the games. The weak association between religion and behavior is consistent with theory and empirical studies using similar measures – the anonymous pairing and grouping of the economic games may moderate individual-level effects of religion. Our research is a strong complement to the empirical literature because the three studies involved a large and diverse sample and used sensitive instruments that have been found to reliably measure prosocial behavior.

Details

The Economics of Religion: Anthropological Approaches
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-228-9

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