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American Psychological Association

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Reviews the book, Prosocial motives, emotions, and behavior: The better angels of our nature edited by Mario Mikulincer and Phillip R. Shaver

This book serves as a well-organized primer for anyone interested in factors governing prosocial behaviors. Importantly, it also highlights why behaving prosocially is beneficial not only to the recipient but also to the provider, even when that deed is as simple as forgiveness. The broad goal of this book is to integrate what is known about prosocial behavior. The editors do a magnificent job making this edited work tell a cohesive story. In sum, this book does more than simply summarize types of prosocial motives, emotions, and behaviors. It provides a foundation for thinking about how to manage interpersonal, group, and perhaps societal (intergroup) relationships. Given our country’s military involvement abroad, it is refreshing to see work that highlights how we might attain positive social behavior. This book is relevant to a wide readership. It will appeal not only to social psychologists but also to any social scientist interested in human interactions. This includes those with interests in positive and health psychology. Experimental psychologists, who may have little background in social psychology, will also find this book enjoyable as it highlights a number of social psychological theories succinctly.


Accepted version. PsycCritiques, Vol. 55, No. 33 (2010). DOI. © 2010 American Psychological Association. Used with permission.

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