Paradoxes of Kindness in the Context of Prosocial Behavior: Analysis of Modern Concepts

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Abstract

Objective. Analysis of the modern concepts of kindness as a moral and ethical construct and a predictor of prosocial human behavior, to identify paradoxes of kindness, indicating the multidimensionality and multidirectionality of the content of kindness, the ambivalence of the consequences of manifestation and the ambiguity of interpretation by the subjects of interaction.
Background. In the modern information technology world, the problem of preserving the human in man and his moral cultural code is clearly identified, which is clearly intensifying in an era of uncertainty, instability and global risks. Kindness as a virtue and value, a personal quality and one of the predictors of prosocial behavior, having an interdisciplinary status, is studied in sufficient detail by various researchers, but not all of their results are presented in the domestic literature, and therefore their consolidation and clarification of the “kindness” construct in within the framework of social psychology.
Conclusions. Main conclusions. The concept of “kindness” is clarified as an ethical construct of the individual and a predictor of prosocial behavior, as well as a social norm that regulates interpersonal interactions, strengthens trust and ensures social connections. “Paradoxes” of kindness have been identified, containing multidirectional psychological orientations – care for the Other and care for oneself, ambivalent consequences of showing kindness and its ambiguous interpretation by the subjects of interaction. The prospects for empirical research aimed at studying subjective ideas about kindness, diagnosing its modes, and identifying socio-psychological mediators and moderators are identified.

General Information

Keywords: prosocial behavior; paradoxes of kindness; caring for the Other — caring for oneself; spiritual strength — perceived weakness; normativity — proactivity

Journal rubric: Theoretical Research

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/sps.2024150101

Received: 17.07.2023

Accepted:

For citation: Ryaguzova E.V. Paradoxes of Kindness in the Context of Prosocial Behavior: Analysis of Modern Concepts. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2024. Vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 5–21. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2024150101. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

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Information About the Authors

Elena V. Ryaguzova, Doctor of Psychology, Head of the Department of Personality Psychology, Saratov State University, Saratov, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2079-690X, e-mail: rjaguzova@yandex.ru

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