The relationship between individual values and prosocial behavior in an online and offline contexts



The objective of the study is to investigate the relationship of individual values and prosocial behavior in online and offline contexts. Background. Prosocial behavior contributes to both the well-being of individuals and the prosperity of a society. Its relationship with different factors, among which individual values have the strongest predictive power, is contextually dependent. With the development and dissemination of information and communication technologies, number of people actively in¬volved in various kinds of interactions on the Internet is constantly growing. However, specific features of the online context regarding prosocial behavior and how they can influence the relationship between values and prosocial behavior in this context have not been studied yet. Study design. The study is a socio-psychological survey which was conducted within the framework of a cross-sectional one-sample design. The authors developed and adopted special questionnaires to measure prosocial behavior in online and offline contexts. Values were considered in the Schwartz approach and measured using a short version of the individual values questionnaire included in the European Social Survey methodology (ESS). Participants. The sample of the study is quite heterogeneous and includes 187 respon¬dents from different regions of the Russian Federation (average age 35,4 years, 66% women). Search of respondents was done using non-probabolistic, convenience sampling method. Methods of data analysis. The study is based on quantitative methods. Such methods of data processing and analysis were applied as analysis of descriptive statistics, t-test for paired samples, multiple linear regression analysis (Enter method) in the SPSS 22.0 program. Results. The respondents were more involved in prosocial behavior in an offline context than in an online context. Values of Self-Transcendence only are positively related with prosocial behavior in an offline context, while both Self-Transcendence and Self-Enhancement values are related with prosocial behavior in an online context. Conclusions. The results obtained in the study allow authors to conclude that the Internet is still an undeveloped field for the implementation of prosocial behavior, at least for Russians. Noteworthy is the fact that the relationship between values and prosocial behavior depends on the context in which prosocial behavior can be realized. The universality of the positive relationship of Self-Transcendence values and prosocial behavior was established. However, the finding about positive relationship of Self-Enhancement values and prosocial behavior in an online context is fundamentally new.

General Information

Keywords: prosocial behavior, individual values, online context, offline context, cyberpsychology

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The reported study was funded by RSF, project number 19-18-00169.

For citation: Efremova M.V., Bultseva M.A. The relationship between individual values and prosocial behavior in an online and offline contexts. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2020. Vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 107–126. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2020110107. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)



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Information About the Authors

Maria V. Efremova, PhD in Psychology, Leading Research Fellow, Center for Socio-Cultural Research, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Mariya A. Bultseva, Junior Research Fellow, Center for Socio-Cultural Research, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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