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Prosocial DevelopmentA Multidimensional Approach$
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Laura M. Padilla-Walker and Gustavo Carlo

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199964772

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199964772.001.0001

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The Prosocial Brain

The Prosocial Brain

Perceiving Others in Need and Acting on It

Chapter:
(p.90) 5 The Prosocial Brain
Source:
Prosocial Development
Author(s):

Alek Chakroff

Liane Young

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199964772.003.0005

Acting to benefit others first requires that one perceive other living beings with needs and desires - that is, it requires social cognition. Prosocial behavior further requires the motivation to act, which may stem from empathetic processes, and the desire to reduce the misfortune of another. This motivation may also require the ability to anticipate some future reward, whether that reward is anticipated reciprocity, or the "warm glow" of being a good person. This chapter is organized around the distinct psychological processes underlying prosocial behavior. First, the chapter outlines the processes that are likely required for prosocial action to occur. The chapter discusses the neural mechanisms underlying each of these psychological processes, and use this discussion as a lens through which to interpret research directly relating prosocial behavior to the brain. Finally, the chapter discusses ambiguities in the interpretation of the current research, and suggest future directions.

Keywords:   prosocial, cognitive neuroscience, social psychology, FMRI, behavioral ethics, morality

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