For any prosocial behavior to be effective and beneficial to others it is necessary to have communication, either to be influenced or to know the issue. After understanding a problem it is important to think critically in a non-biased way to effectively come up with a solution that will solve the issue. Prosocial behavior is a social behavior that intends on helping others through volunteering, sharing, or donating. Despite the fact that people should be helping others regardless, humans tend to be selfish creatures. But a starting point to get people to understand that other people have struggled is through communication, either by verbally telling someone or by expressing it through body language that they are in agony or in need of help. Through communication, a need can be understood and worked towards a solution but helping an issue requires more than just knowing the situation. After understanding it, the problem has to be analyzed and evaluated before forming a judgment to make sure that it will be a rational decision. This process is known as critical thinking and is the most optimal way to address a situation because it addresses a situation in an unbiased way.
Communication is critically important before any prosocial behavior occurs because it impacts both parties; the person that acts prosocially and the person that has the issue. Without communication, the issue is not being understood and therefore cannot be figured out. From a young age, the values of helping others are communicated to us by our parents and teachers which influence us to behave in a prosocial manner. Some of these values regard volunteer work and sympathy towards the difficulties of others. Hence the values communicated affect individuals to act more genial towards others. Elliot Aronson’s jigsaw classroom study looked at the communication between students. Aronson’s study showed that due to interactive communication in groups the students tended to treat each other more positively, regardless of ethnicity or sex. Although the study did not focus on helping others with their difficulties, it was noticed that communication helped students to benefit each other. To elaborate, communication helps people to care about each other by understanding their views and needs. As McAdams claimed, sharing personal stories could also communicate someone’s own experience that can connect people into helping, sharing, and volunteering to become a more unified whole. There are other ways to use communication for the goal of sharing and helping others. One effective way is for leaders to inspire others by public speaking about a pressing issue. This will result in building motivation in people towards solving the problem by making them feel that it is something they are able to achieve and that the outcome will be impactful.
After figuring out the issue, there is a critical step that requires a decision to be made. It is important to make a good decision to be able to benefit the other person. By thinking critically about an issue, the problem is being analyzed and evaluated so an unbiased solution can be made. A research study in the 1970s by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman found that people tend to make decisions without thinking critically about the options not taking the positives or negatives into consideration. They noticed that people were quick to jump to solutions often because of bias from their past experiences. However, this type of immediate solution is not the best one. In regards to being prosocial, it is necessary to think about the possible solutions to not end up making a biased solution. This is so that the solution regarding the issue can be thought about in different aspects and made a value judgment. Therefore, it is important to not jump to conclusions too quickly and to think critically about a situation regarding the needs of others.
These two specific abilities are more impactful than other abilities in regards to helping others because communication and critical thinking alone is able to give someone the ability to act prosocially. Similarly, how receiving, processing, and then responding, applies to behavior, information is received through a form of communication, processed through critically thinking about a solution, and finally being able to respond by helping another person in need.