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Social Support Predicts Perceived Cultural Salience of Prosocial Ideas but not Normativeness of Prosocial Behaviour

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AbstractThe present study tests the hypothesis that the degree of perceived availability of social support predicts one’s perception of prosocial ideas as salient to one’s cultural group. Using both qualitative and quantitative methodology, cognitive data associated with prosocial ideas (formulated as values and norms) in Swedish society, including their structure, accessibility in recall and intergenerational transmission, as well as information on social support and psychological health status were collected during 2008-2009 in Skåne, Sweden. In regression analysis consistent predictive effects of social support were found for values but not for norms. Endorsement of norms (both prosocial and pro-self) was strongly affected by measurements of emotional and cognitive empathy, and by one’s general beliefs in human goodness. Implications for studying social learning mechanisms and exploration of the properties of norms relevant to the co-evolution of human culture and sociality are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut 354 Mansfield Road, Beach Hall U-1176, Storrs, CT 06269 USA

10.1163/15685373-12342075
/content/journals/10.1163/15685373-12342075
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/content/journals/10.1163/15685373-12342075
2012-01-01
2016-12-04

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