Prosociality during COVID-19: Globally focussed solidarity brings greater benefits than nationally focussed solidarity

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Many charities are appealing for donations to address problems caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Two surveys study (Total N = 500) tested predictors of donation intentions of British participants to help those suffering from the crisis in Britain (ingroup donations) and overseas (outgroup donations). Perceptions of international, global common fate in our success in managing and overcoming the crisis was positively associated with prosocial intentions towards both national ingroup and outgroup targets. In contrast, a desire to ‘close ranks’ within the national ingroup in the face of the pandemic threat was associated with more prosocial intentions towards national ingroup targets only, but it was associated with fewer prosocial intentions towards outgroup targets. This suggests that a focus on global solidarity (in the form of global common fate and identification with all humans) has positive effects on helping both within and across group boundaries, whereas a focus on national solidarity (in the form of ‘closing ranks’ in the face of the pandemic threat) has positive effects on helping within the national group but negative effects on prosocial tendencies towards outgroup members. The effect of perceived global common fate on both ingroup and outgroup helping was mediated by identification with all of humanity. Findings are discussed in terms of practical implications for managing the COVID-19 crisis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Community and Applied Social Psychology
Early online date16 Jun 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jun 2021

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