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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Zeyi Wang

PhD Student



Project Title: Does culture influence the transmission of prosocial behaviour?

Summary: The transmission of prosocial behaviour, where a third-party chooses to help another person after observing an individual providing help to someone, is associated with well-being and resilience, plays an important role in promoting social harmony and stability, and reflects an essential way that human beings can promote kindness. Although prosocial behaviour transmission has been explained via many individual differences (e.g., empathy, narcissism), there has been less emphasis on contextual factors. Culture, defined in terms of individualism and collectivism, may be an important contextual factor that influences how individuals perceive and interact with others, especially where help is concerned.

In particular, cultural differences in respect for social hierarchies (e.g., status) may shape who people decide to help and when after observing others. Through the analysis of secondary data (e.g., European Social Survey) and two experiments, this project will examine the role of culture in shaping people's willingness to engage in prosocial behaviours and their reciprocation of these behaviours when observed as third parties.



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