N219 Elliott Hall Dr. Mark Snyder<br />
McKnight Presidential Chair in Psychology<br />
University of Minnesota<br />
Abstract: Every year, millions of people around the world give freely of their time and effort to do good for others and for society. Whether they do so through volunteerism and philanthropy, joining community groups and organizations, or participating in social activism and political movements, their activities (known collectively as âpro-social actionâ) involve stepping outside the confines of their own individual interests to demonstrate their caring, concern, and compassion for humanity by working for the common good of their communities and for the benefit of society. To answer the questions of how, when, and why people participate inpro-social action, I will draw on research in psychology that provides new (and often surprising) answers to the questions of why people become involved in doing good works, what sustains their involvement over time, how their participation changes over the stages of their lives, the ways that pro-social action reflects connections between individuals and communities, and how pro-social action builds bridges between the private concerns of citizens and the collective well-being of society.