Prosocial Behaviors and Personality Traits

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There is a range of behaviors displayed by community members in any given society. The prosocial propensity is one of the behaviors that has been discovered to vary within any given community situation. Prosocial people tend to behave in ways that benefit other members of society. Such people are motivated by a desire to assist others, particularly those who are less capable than themselves. A person's prosocial tendencies can be influenced by a variety of variables. These factors can be innate or derived from the environment. People with specific personality qualities are more likely to be prosocial. Different character traits play a role in prosocial behaviors. In this paper, the focus is on the role of personality traits in the development and exemplification of prosocial behaviors.

Multiple personalities have been identified to play a substantial role in the development of prosocial behaviors. One such personality is agreeableness. Classified under the big five personalities, agreeableness denotes the extent to which a person can subscribe to or relate to different situations. Persons who exhibit high levels of this personality tend to be friendly to people, including strangers, are warm and friend most of the times. Additionally, persons who show high levels of agreeableness also show optimism towards human nature and find it easy to get along with others. About prosocial tendencies, this personality trait is likely to [predispose a person to act in a prosocial manner.

Agreeableness enables one to resonate and relate to the situations of others. The character plays a vital role in the exemplification of the prosocial tendencies. In particular, through optimism in the human nature, people who possess this trait tend to show high levels of compliance to the rules of humanity, which is extending goodness to those in need irrespective of the relationship with the recipient of assistance. Further, such persons are inclined to show kindness in many situations and act according to the expectations of the other party. According to Kline, Bankert, Levitan, and Kraft (2017), people with agreeableness train are nice and this is implicated in the aggregation of prosocial behaviors. Therefore, through the illustration of the trait of agreeableness, personality traits play a crucial role in the development and exemplification of prosocial behaviors.

Another attribute that may predispose a person to exemplify prosocial tendencies is openness. The attribute of openness include the absence of restrictions in a person's though and considering issues and persons with frankness. Open persons tend to shy away from concealing anything, especially when engaging other parties. The attribute is also linked to the exemplification of prosocial tendencies. Crane (2017) explained the role of openness in the prosocial in the context of a teacher engaging students in a classroom. As expected in a learning process, some students may be slow in the comprehension of concepts being passed across, and they are often compelled to engage the instructor for a possibility of further elaboration of the given concept. The extent to which a teacher is open to the students determines whether the process and results of the engagement would be instrumental in assisting the students to grab the concept.

Open teachers tend to advance prosocial behavior by elaborately communicating to the students on what they should do to ensure that they are can enhance their comprehension of the concepts covered in class. Through this, Crane (2017) demonstrates that people who show the openness personality trait tend to extend goodness to other people. They can advise and remain objective in their communication with other people. Also, openness provides an opportunity in evaluate multiple options relating to a given situation and come up with decisions that best serve the interests of those in need. As noted by Crane (2017), openness motivates prosocial behaviors in teachers, which makes them understand the issues presented by students and be able to create an environment for an engaged student population. In turn, this leads to enhanced learning among the students, which is consistent with the motives of the prosocial behaviors in such a setting.

Altruist personality trait also plays a vital role in the exemplification of prosocial behaviors. Altruism can be defined as the motivation to do good to other people expecting nothing in return. Altruistic behavior emanates from a genuine desire to do good to other people. Altruistic people are in most cases motivated to do good for the advancement of the well-being of others. Through such actions, they come out as prosocial who act out of kindness and may be regarded as heroes, especially from the perspectives of the recipients of the assistance (Lay & Happmann, 2015). Though there is a contention whether absolute altruism exists in today's world, the exemplification of related traits where one acts without expecting favors in return is adequate in the assertion that altruism is a precedent of prosocial behavior. Through helping others, with a surety of no favor in return, altruism conforms to the concept of prosocial behaviors which entails, from basic definition, tendencies that benefit other persons or society as a whole. Therefore, altruism denotes kindness, which requires that one does not act in a manner that deteriorates the wellbeing of others.

Kindness and empathy also constitute some of the attributes that lead to prosocial behaviors. Whereas kindness makes one interested in acts that advance good to other people, empathy attempts to comprehend and relate to the situations of other people. Kindness is instrumental in the exemplification of prosocial behaviors. Kindness trait propels people always to do good and promote the wellness of others as well as reinforce good relationships. In an investigation by Layous et al. (2012), encouraging children to show kindness to their peers promotes prosocial behaviors. This is demonstrative of the role played by kindness attribute in the advancement of prosocial behavior, not only among children but in other members of the society as well. A society that is predominantly constituted by kind people, the wellbeing of others tend to be high as the kind members of the community exemplify goodness to the less fortunate.

Empathetic persons exhibit escalated levels of understanding the plight of other people, as they can relate with and share the experiences of other people. Through this, they can show prosocial tendencies based on their comprehension of the situation. By understanding the situations of other people, being empathetic makes it possible for a person to understand the needs of others. According to Williams, O'Driscoll, and Moore (2014), the empathetic concern is a crucial driver of prosocial tendencies among people. A possible explanation of this is that the train enables the persons to understand the importance of helping other people. Prosocial behaviors focus on preserving the wellbeing of other people, and this makes empathetic persons to put into practice what they feel about other people.

From the discussion, it is clear that some personality traits are implicated in the advancement of prosocial behaviors. In most case, the traits include those that help the people understand the need to advance good to others with the view of enhancing their well-being. As elaborated in this paper, people who exemplify agreeableness exhibit high levels of understanding and limited resistance from extending good to other people. This makes the people agree about the need to show prosocial tendencies to other people. Another trait that plays a role in prosocial behaviors is openness. This trait has been found to help people react to the situations based on the existing facts without any form of concealment. Such makes them inform and guide other persons on what is best for them, which conforms to prosocial behaviors. Altruism also plays a role in the development and exemplification of the prosocial behaviors. Motivated by the need to help others without expecting anything in return, altruistic persons in all their actions echo the motives of prosocial behavior. Through this, it is indisputable that prosocial behaviors are linked to altruism. Other traits include kindness and empathy. The elaboration of the various traits confirms that prosocial behaviors emanate from the personality trait of a person. However, for a character to qualify as a precedent of prosocial behaviors, the motivations of the actions must conform to the attributes and intentions of the prosocial behaviors.


Crane, B. D. (2017). Teacher openness and prosocial motivation: Creating an environment where questions lead to engaged students. Management Teaching Review, 2(1), 7-16

Kline, R., Bankert, A., Levitan, L., & Kraft, P. (2017). Personality and Prosocial Behavior: A Multilevel Meta-Analysis. Political Science Research and Methods, 1-18.

Lay, J. C., & Hoppmann, C. A. (2015). Altruism and Prosocial Behavior. Encyclopedia of geropsychology, 1-9.

Layous, K., Nelson, S. K., Oberle, E., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2012). Kindness counts: Prompting prosocial behavior in preadolescents boosts peer acceptance and well-being. PloS one, 7(12), e51380.

Williams, A., O'Driscoll, K., & Moore, C. (2014). The influence of empathic concern on prosocial behavior in children. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 425.

April 19, 2023

Psychology Sociology



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