Cyber prosocial behavior: Prosocial behaviors in the digital age

Michelle F. Wright, William Stanley Pendergrass

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Although Internet and digital technology use comes with many risks, there are people who are also engaging in prosocial behaviors through these technologies. The history of cyber prosocial behaviors can be traced back to the early years of the Internet, when it was a message board used to share open source software. Later, clinicians began to recognize the promise of the Internet for help-seeking behaviors. Thus, they began investigating the use of online discussion boards for mental health advice and support. The newest investigations of cyber prosocial behaviors continue to suggest that the Internet is a place where various populations seek help or provide help. New ways to help online have also emerged such as crowdfunding and online petitions. Not only do people seeking help benefit from experiencing prosocial behaviors on the Internet but so do the givers of prosocial behaviors. Receivers experience greater social connectivity and social support; givers experience health benefits, personal satisfaction, and reputational increases. This chapter draws on multidisciplinary research from psychology, sociology, computer science, education, and social work to describe cyber prosocial behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProsocial Behavior
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives, Influences and Current Research
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781536102666
ISBN (Print)9781536102499
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)


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