Prosocial behaviour is described as a voluntary behaviour in order to benefit someone else (Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998). This prosocial behaviour such as sharing, helping, sympathy and empathy form an important part of the social interactions. It has been studied in terms of where these behaviours come from.There are various theories regarding the prosocial behavioural tendencies of individuals. Prosocial behaviour is regarded by Reber (1995), as a “descriptive label for those social behaviours that are cooperative in nature”.There are various theories regarding the prosocial behavioural tendencies of individuals. The influence of Piaget’s & Kohlberg’s moral development theories plays a significant role in the advances in prosocial behavioural theories. Existing research investigates connections between personality, family dynamics, culture, temperament, peer relations and moral development. To illustrate Eisenberg and Fabes' quote (1998) that prosocial behaviour is an outcome of a combination of many factors, three of the major factors will be examined in this essay i.e. cultural, socialisation and individual characteristics.
Research on cross-cultural affects on prosocial behaviour has been based on cooperation, competition and sharing behavioural tendencies. These studies have found that children from traditionally rural societies are more cooperative than those of urban or westernized cultures (Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998). Different types of research have been performed investigating the role of culture in the development of prosocial behaviour. Some research has shown differences but others have not, such as the experiment done in assignment 1. This may be due to the fact that there are different cultural values and norms to compare, e.g. certain cultures place importance on different types of prosocial actions such as responding when asked and not asked. Moral reasoning is different across cultures which also making research