Sequential development of helping behavior: A cognitive-learning approach

Daniel Bar-Tal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


It is suggested that cognitive, social-perspective, and moral skills, on the one hand, and a self-regulatory skill on the other, determine the extent, quantity, and quality of helping acts. A framework for the analysis of helping behavior development by integrating cognitive-development- and social-learning approaches is suggested. The framework proposes that altruistic behavior is a specific, highest-level kind of helping behavior. Helping behavior develops sequentially as its quality changes. The quality of the helping behavior is reflected in individuals' motivation to act. Empirical evidence supporting the suggested framework is presented, and the contribution of this framework for the study of prosocial behavior is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-124
Number of pages24
JournalDevelopmental Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1982


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