Prosocial apathy for helping others when effort is required

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Prosocial apathy for helping others when effort is required. / Lockwood, Patricia L; Hamonet, Mathilde; Zhang, Samuel H; Ratnavel, Anya; Salmony, Florentine U; Husain, Masud; Apps, Matthew A J.

In: Nature Human Behaviour, Vol. 1, No. 7, 0131, 07.2017.

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Lockwood PL, Hamonet M, Zhang SH, Ratnavel A, Salmony FU, Husain M et al. Prosocial apathy for helping others when effort is required. Nature Human Behaviour. 2017 Jul;1(7). 0131. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-017-0131

Author

Lockwood, Patricia L ; Hamonet, Mathilde ; Zhang, Samuel H ; Ratnavel, Anya ; Salmony, Florentine U ; Husain, Masud ; Apps, Matthew A J. / Prosocial apathy for helping others when effort is required. In: Nature Human Behaviour. 2017 ; Vol. 1, No. 7.

Bibtex

@article{a8d9250ac29949909cb46033d7043dee,
title = "Prosocial apathy for helping others when effort is required",
abstract = "Prosocial acts-those that are costly to ourselves but benefit others-are a central component of human coexistence(1-3). While the financial and moral costs of prosocial behaviours are well understood(4-6), everyday prosocial acts do not typically come at such costs. Instead, they require effort. Here, using computational modelling of an effort-based task, we show that people are prosocially apathetic. They are less willing to choose to initiate highly effortful acts that benefit others compared with those benefitting themselves. Moreover, even when choosing to initiate effortful prosocial acts, people exhibit superficiality, exerting less force into the actions that benefit others than those that benefit themselves. These findings were replicated, and were present whether the other person was anonymous or not, and when choices were made to earn rewards or avoid losses. Importantly, the least prosocially motivated people had higher subclinical levels of psychopathy and social apathy. Thus, although people sometimes 'help out', they are less willing to benefit others and are sometimes 'superficially prosocial', which may characterize everyday prosociality and its disruption in social disorders.",
author = "Lockwood, {Patricia L} and Mathilde Hamonet and Zhang, {Samuel H} and Anya Ratnavel and Salmony, {Florentine U} and Masud Husain and Apps, {Matthew A J}",
year = "2017",
month = jul,
doi = "10.1038/s41562-017-0131",
language = "English",
volume = "1",
journal = "Nature Human Behaviour",
issn = "2397-3374",
publisher = "Springer Nature",
number = "7",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Prosocial apathy for helping others when effort is required

AU - Lockwood, Patricia L

AU - Hamonet, Mathilde

AU - Zhang, Samuel H

AU - Ratnavel, Anya

AU - Salmony, Florentine U

AU - Husain, Masud

AU - Apps, Matthew A J

PY - 2017/7

Y1 - 2017/7

N2 - Prosocial acts-those that are costly to ourselves but benefit others-are a central component of human coexistence(1-3). While the financial and moral costs of prosocial behaviours are well understood(4-6), everyday prosocial acts do not typically come at such costs. Instead, they require effort. Here, using computational modelling of an effort-based task, we show that people are prosocially apathetic. They are less willing to choose to initiate highly effortful acts that benefit others compared with those benefitting themselves. Moreover, even when choosing to initiate effortful prosocial acts, people exhibit superficiality, exerting less force into the actions that benefit others than those that benefit themselves. These findings were replicated, and were present whether the other person was anonymous or not, and when choices were made to earn rewards or avoid losses. Importantly, the least prosocially motivated people had higher subclinical levels of psychopathy and social apathy. Thus, although people sometimes 'help out', they are less willing to benefit others and are sometimes 'superficially prosocial', which may characterize everyday prosociality and its disruption in social disorders.

AB - Prosocial acts-those that are costly to ourselves but benefit others-are a central component of human coexistence(1-3). While the financial and moral costs of prosocial behaviours are well understood(4-6), everyday prosocial acts do not typically come at such costs. Instead, they require effort. Here, using computational modelling of an effort-based task, we show that people are prosocially apathetic. They are less willing to choose to initiate highly effortful acts that benefit others compared with those benefitting themselves. Moreover, even when choosing to initiate effortful prosocial acts, people exhibit superficiality, exerting less force into the actions that benefit others than those that benefit themselves. These findings were replicated, and were present whether the other person was anonymous or not, and when choices were made to earn rewards or avoid losses. Importantly, the least prosocially motivated people had higher subclinical levels of psychopathy and social apathy. Thus, although people sometimes 'help out', they are less willing to benefit others and are sometimes 'superficially prosocial', which may characterize everyday prosociality and its disruption in social disorders.

U2 - 10.1038/s41562-017-0131

DO - 10.1038/s41562-017-0131

M3 - Article

C2 - 28819649

VL - 1

JO - Nature Human Behaviour

JF - Nature Human Behaviour

SN - 2397-3374

IS - 7

M1 - 0131

ER -