Unity in Diversity: Exploring the effect of oneness with humanity on the willingness to donate to Syrian and Ukrainian refugees

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A sense of oneness with another person or group implies a sense of interconnectedness and overlap with that other, and perceived oneness has been found to foster willingness to help others in need. Despite its potential importance, little empirical research has explored the influence of sense of oneness on attitudes and behaviours toward refugees. This work addresses the question of whether encouraging a sense of oneness with all humanity can increase people’s perceived oneness with specific refugee outgroups and, through this, willingness to donate to refugees to help them. People might often be reluctant to see overlap between themselves and outgroups, but perceived oneness with outgroups should increase if perceived oneness with all of humanity is salient. This means that increasing perceived oneness with all of humanity could potentially be a powerful lever to increase perceived oneness with refugees, and willingness to help them. In one exploratory (N = 165) and one preregistered confirmatory experimental study (N = 180), we show that individuals primed with the idea of oneness with all humanity reported heightened oneness with refugees, and this in turn predicted higher willingness to donate to both Syrian and Ukrainian refugees.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112591
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Early online date22 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Feb 2024


  • refugees, helping, oneness, identity fusion

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