Theories for Computing Prosocial Behavior

Arianna Costantini*, Andrea Scalco, Riccardo Sartori, Elena M. Tur, Andrea Ceschi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-313
Number of pages17
JournalNonlinear dynamics, psychology, and life sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2019


  • Agent-based models
  • Altruism
  • Behavioral evolution
  • Prosocial behavior
  • Reciprocity


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