Current Psychology

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 912–919 | Cite as

Emotional, cultural and cognitive variables of prosocial behaviour

  • Manuel Martí-Vilar
  • Lucas Serrano-Pastor
  • Francisco González SalaEmail author


In order to promote wellbeing in current society, it is necessary to understand which variables predict prosocial behaviour. The objectives of this research were: 1) To establish prosociality as a phenomenon which is related to emotional, contextual and cognitive factors. 2) To establish a model for emotional intelligence which explains prosocial behaviour in Spanish university students. 3) To determine which factors in individual culture explain, to a larger extent, prosocial behaviour. The sample was composed of 180 Spanish college students aged 18 to 25 (135 women; mean of age = 21.17; standard deviation = 1.53). Correlation analysis showed a positive relationship in emotional intelligence, individual culture and criminal thinking. The regression analyses showed that the mixed model of emotional intelligence is the best predictor of prosocial behaviours. Regarding individual culture, high levels in collectivism and long term orientation, and low levels in distance to power, were the best predictors of these behaviours. These findings confirm the importance of understanding prosocial behaviour as a multidimensional phenomenon.


Prosocial behaviour Emotional intelligence Criminal thinking Individual culture 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12144_2019_168_MOESM1_ESM.docx (23 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 22 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Psicología Básica, Facultad de PsicologíaUniversitat de ValènciaValènciaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación, Facultad de PsicologíaUniversitat de ValènciaValènciaSpain

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