Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 23, Iss. 2, April, 2019, pp. 297-313
@2019 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences


Theories for Computing Prosocial Behavior

Arianna Costantini, University of Verona, Italy
Andrea Scalco, University of Aberdeen, UK
Riccardo Sartori, University of Verona, Italy
Elena M. Tur, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands, and University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Andrea Ceschi, University of Verona, Italy

Abstract: Most relevant theories of prosocial behavior aim at exploring and understanding helping motivations from an evolutionary perspective. This article summarizes findings from research on prosocial behavior from both a socio-economic and psychological perspective. Building on literature exploring the basic processes and determinant variables of helping, we propose a stochastic and dynamic model to simulate prosocial behaviors over time and recreate evolutionary processes of helping behaviors. Such a mathematical model formalizes a procedure for dynamic simulations, including agent-based modeling, which implies non-linear dynamics of prosocial processes underlying helping motivations. Practical implications for organizations and societies are addressed.

Keywords: prosocial behavior, reciprocity, altruism, behavioral evolution, agent-based models