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 journalArticle


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics

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