Altruism is a social behavior

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Altruism and cooperation are explained as learned behaviors arising from a pattern of repeated acts whose acquired value outweighs the short-term gains following single acts. But animals and young children, tempted by immediate gains, have difficulty learning behaviors of self-control. An alternative source of reinforcement, shared by animals and humans, arises from social interaction that normally accompanies cooperation and altruism in nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-274
Number of pages3
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Altruism is a social behavior'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this