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Altruism and Antisocial Behavior: Independent Tendencies, Unique Personality Correlates, Distinct Etiologies
Psychological Science
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2001
Pages: 397 - 402
Source ID: shanti-sources-48506
Collection: Altruism
Abstract: The relationship between altruism and antisocial behavior has received limited attention because altruism and antisocial behavior tend to be studied and discussed in distinct literatures. Our research bridges these literatures by focusing on three fundamental questions. First, are altruism and antisocial behavior opposite ends of a single dimension, or can they coexist in the same individual? Second, do altruism and antisocial behavior have the same or distinct etiologies? Third, do they stem from the same or from distinct aspects of a person's personality? Our findings indicate that altruism and antisocial behavior are uncorrelated tendencies stemming from different sources. Whereas altruism was linked primarily to shared (i.e., familial) environments, unique (i.e., nonfamilial) environments, and personality traits reflecting positive emotionality, antisocial behavior was linked primarily to genes, unique environments, and personality traits reflecting negative emotionality and a lack of constraint.