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Prosocial DevelopmentA Multidimensional Approach$
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Laura M. Padilla-Walker and Gustavo Carlo

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199964772

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199964772.001.0001

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Prosocial Exemplarity in Adolescence and Adulthood

Prosocial Exemplarity in Adolescence and Adulthood

(p.433) 21 Prosocial Exemplarity in Adolescence and Adulthood
Prosocial Development

Lawrence J. Walker

Oxford University Press

The arguments advanced in this chapter challenge the view that prosocial morality is self-denying and instead contend that it can and should be self-regarding. The psychological maneuver that provides this source of motivation entails the developing appropriation of morality as core to individuals’ identity and personality. In this view, (self-enhancing) personal interests can be fulfilled through the enactment of (self-transcending) prosocial behaviors that promote the interests of others. In this chapter I examine two tracks of research in that regard. One track has focused on the possession of moral traits as central to identity. The other track has focused on the integration of moral and personal concerns in broader aspects of personality. The relevant evidence indicates that individuals identified as prosocial exemplars, in particular, have synergistically integrated agentic and communal motivation in such a way that self-interested concerns become instrumental to prosocial communal action.

Keywords:   motivation, enlightened self-interest, exemplarity, identity, personality, agency, communion

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