Batson, Charles Daniel. The Altruism Question: Toward a Social-Psychological Answer. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1991. Discusses altruism and empathy from a social psychological perspective and addresses the debate about whether or not altruism is merely self-serving egoism. Also discusses altruistic motivation and personality. Batson is highly regarded for his many experimental studies of helping behavior.
Blumenthal, David R. The Banality of Good and Evil: Moral Lessons from the Shoah and Jewish Tradition. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1999. The author is a theologian who reviews social, psychological, child developmental, and personality research in the presentation of his ideas regarding the ordinariness of good and evil. The book is a study of the behavior, character, and motivation of people who rescued or protected Jews in Nazi Europe. The commentary on what it means to be a moral human is often moving. This book is especially important in light of the Christian bias in much of the helping and prosocial research literature. Very highly recommended.
Clark, Margaret S., ed. Prosocial Behavior. Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1991. Focuses on the broad area of positive social behaviors and therefore includes discussions of altruism as well as chapters on helping. Two chapters deal with the development of prosocial behavior. Also noteworthy is a chapter that covers aspects of help-seeking behavior. A chapter on moods and one on the arousal cost-reward model are included as well.
Derlega, Valerian J., andJanusz Grzelak, eds. Cooperation and Helping Behavior: Theories and Research. New York: Academic Press, 1982. The first chapter provides a nontechnical discussion of the similarities and differences between the related issues of helping and cooperation, while also serving as an introduction to later chapters. Chapters on helping discuss the arousal cost-reward model and extend the model to show how help seekers may be influenced by cost/reward considerations.
Oliner, Pearl M., and Samuel P. Oliner. Toward a Caring Society: Ideas into Action. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1995. The Oliners are social scientists affiliated with the Altruistic Personality and Prosocial Behavior Institute. They offer guidelines for promoting caring behavior in families, in schools, at work, and in religious organizations based on careful consideration of a variety of sources, including the literature on altruism, helping, and prosocial behavior. They present caring, or the assumption of responsibility for the welfare of others, as a way to redress an overly individualistic and materialistic culture. Many poignant and inspiring narrative excerpts are included.
Rushton, J. Philippe, and Richard M. Sorrentino, eds. Altruism and Helping Behavior: Social, Personality, and Developmental Perspectives. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1981. Covers, as the title implies, three main areas. Under developmental issues, varied topics such as the influence of televi sion and the role of genetics (sociobiology) are covered. Also includes a discussion of moods and a model of how norms may influence helping.
Schroeder, David A., Louis A. Penner, John F. Dovidio, and Jane A. Piliavin. The Psychology of Helping and Altruism: Problems and Puzzles. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1995. Good review of the research literature. Includes discussions of the relationships among biology, personality, and social learning as they relate to prosocial behavior. The reciprocity involved in seeking and giving help is also discussed. The book is intended for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students.
Staub, Ervin, Daniel Bar-Tal, Jerzy Karylowski, and Janusz Reykowski, eds. Development and Maintenance of Prosocial Behavior: International Perspectives on Positive Morality. New York: Plenum Press, 1984. This set of twenty-four chapters from various researchers focuses not only on helping but also on other positive behaviors such as cooperation, generosity, and kindness. Covers a range of topics, from developmental aspects of prosocial behavior to the effects of help seeking and help receiving to applications of knowledge about helping behavior. A unique aspect of this book is its consideration of research done in many different countries.
Tiffany A. Ito and Norman Miller; updated by Tanja Bekhuis
See also: Aggression; Crowd Behavior; Moral Development.
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