Prosocial behavior and well-being: Shifting from the ‘chicken and egg’ to positive feedback loop

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The extant literature is mostly dichotomized in examining the effect of either prosocial behavior on well-being or well-being on prosocial behavior. After reviewing the emerging line of research on the positive feedback loop between prosocial behavior and well-being, I integrate all up-to-date empirical findings to present a reciprocal model where prosocial behavior begets well-being and well-being begets prosocial behavior. This article provides fresh insights, including the moderating roles of prosocial behavior and well-being and fading (and anti-fading) of the positive feedback loop. I also offer various promising lines of inquiry for future work and highlight powerful and ecologically valid research designs, such as experience-sampling studies and multiple-time point field experiments to capture the dynamic interplay between prosocial behavior and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-236
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Positive feedback loop
  • Prosociality
  • Reciprocity
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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