Prosocial behaviors—actions that benefit others—fundamentally shape our interpersonal interactions. Psychiatric disorders have been suggested to be related to prosocial disturbances, which may underlie many of their social impairments. However, broader affective traits, present to different degrees in both psychiatric and healthy populations, also have been linked to variability in prosociality. Therefore, it is unclear to what extent prosocial variability is explained by specific psychiatric disorders relative to broad affective traits. Using a computational, transdiagnostic approach in two online studies, we found that participants who reported being more affectively reactive across a broad cluster of traits manifested greater frequencies of prosocial actions in two different contexts: They reported being more averse to harming others for profit, and they were more willing to exert effort to benefit others.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Affective traits
- Computational modeling
- Prosocial behavior
- Psychiatric traits