Seminar: “The Role of Prosociality in Societal Development” by Prof Lilavati Krishnan
‘Prosociality’ refers to behaviours, attitudes and values that involve doing good to another person or group, by helping, sharing and cooperating. In general, prosociality stems from an ‘other-orientation’, or a consideration of the other person. ‘Development’ refers to the multi-faceted growth of a society or country. It is commonly understood as economic development, that entails generating material resources and creating diverse facilities for society. At present, most development models do not include prosociality, and most prosociality models do not incorporate the idea of development. It is argued that development should be construed as a move towards the goal of welfare or well-being of the members of society. Accordingly, prosocial values, and an ‘other orientation’ would promote rather than inhibit development. The major research findings pertaining to prosocial behaviour in India are summarized. Conceptual links are proposed between prosociality and societal development through cultural characteristics, socialization, economic values, prosocial values, and well-being. The main message is that prosociality complements economic values, without contradicting them, and together they foster material as well as psychological well-being as goals of societal development.
Bio: Prof Lilavati Krishnan retired from IIT Kanpur as a chaired professor of Social Psychology. She is currently visiting professor at IIT Dharwad and Gandhinagar. Her work is in the area of distributive justice, pro-social behavior and cross-cultural issues. She is a well known teacher and scholar in social psychology.