Pro-Social Behaviors Subprojects

Faculty fellows and research assistants of the ISS’ collaborative project on Pro-Social Behaviors have begun research on the prevention of anti-social behaviors and the promotion of pro-social behaviors in technology-mediated settings. 

Does it work? The Effectiveness of Crowdsourced Support in Reducing Distress

Janis Whitlock, BCTR; Natalie Bazarova, Communication; Kaylee Kruzman, RA, Communication; Dominic DiFranzo, RA, Communication; Julia Chapman, RA, BCTR

A growing body of research provides support for the efficacy of web-based and mobile applications (apps) in reducing distress. Availability of apps and other web-based platforms that use “crowdsource” models to provide peer based support are a prosocial and potentially effective means of reaching individuals experiencing distress. This project assess the efficacy of using one such peer-based support app, Talk Life, in reducing self-harm and increasing readiness to engage in therapy.


Underestimating others’ willingness to help

Vanessa Bohns, Organizational Behavior; Lauren DeVincent, RA, Organizational Behavior; Sebastian Deri, RA, Psychology; Daniel Stein, RA, Organizational Behavior, UC-Berkely; Charlie Stewart, Undergraduate RA, ILR

This project explores help-seekers’ perceptions of the likelihood that they will receive help should they ask for it. Specifically, we are testing the hypothesis that help-seekers underestimate others’ willingness to help them to different degrees across a variety of contexts (e.g., asking for help from friends vs. strangers, making large vs. small requests).