Prosociality: The contribution of traits, values, and self-efficacy beliefs

Gian Vittorio Caprara, Guido Alessandri, Nancy Eisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

257 Scopus citations


The present study examined how agreeableness, self-transcendence values, and empathic self-efficacy beliefs predict individuals' tendencies to engage in prosocial behavior (i.e., prosociality) across time. Participants were 340 young adults, 190 women and 150 men, age approximately 21 years at Time 1 and 25 years at Time 2. Measures of agreeableness, self-transcendence, empathic self-efficacy beliefs, and prosociality were collected at 2 time points. The findings corroborated the posited paths of relations, with agreeableness directly predicting self-transcendence and indirectly predicting empathic self-efficacy beliefs and prosociality. Self-transcendence mediated the relation between agreeableness and empathic self-efficacy beliefs. Empathic self-efficacy beliefs mediated the relation of agreeableness and self-transcendence to prosociality. Finally, earlier prosociality predicted agreeableness and empathic self-efficacy beliefs assessed at Time 2. The posited conceptual model accounted for a significant portion of variance in prosociality and provides guidance to interventions aimed at promoting prosociality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1289-1303
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012


  • Agreeableness
  • Empathic self-efficacy beliefs
  • Longitudinal mediational model
  • Prosociality
  • Self-transcendence values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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