Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

2019 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Prosocial Behavior and Sustainable Development

  • Arminda PaçoEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11352-0_25


Prosocial behavior is considered a social behavior that benefits other individuals or even the society as a whole, comprising actions such as helping, volunteering, donating, or sharing.


Prosocial behavior represents voluntary behavior intended to benefit either another individual or society as a whole (Aronson et al. 2005; Eisenberg et al. 2007) by engaging in behaviors such as helping, sharing, donating, cooperating, and volunteering as well as complying with the rules and remaining compatible with socially accepted behaviors (Brief and Motowidlo 1986). These actions stem from a range of motivations, whether sympathy or concerns over welfare, egoistic or practical concerns, such as the individual’s social status and reputation (Eisenberg et al. 2007). As such, altruism and empathy feature among the relevant motivating factors (Straubhaar et al. 2009).

Altruism might be considered as a “subcategory” of prosocial behavior. Borden and Francis (1978) theorize...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management and Economics, NECEUniversity of Beira InteriorCovilhãPortugal

Section editors and affiliations

  • Luciana Brandli
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Passo FundoPasso FundoBrazil