‘We are all in the same boat’: How societal discontent affects intention to help during the COVID-19 pandemic

Elena Resta, Silvana Mula, Conrad Baldner, Daniela Di Santo, Maximilian Agostini, Jocelyn J. Bélanger, Ben Gützkow, Jannis Kreienkamp, Georgios Abakoumkin, Jamilah Hanum Abdul Khaiyom, Vjollca Ahmedi, Handan Akkas, Carlos A. Almenara, Mohsin Atta, Sabahat Cigdem Bagci, Sima Basel, Edona Berisha Kida, Allan B. I. Bernardo, Nicholas R. Buttrick, Phatthanakit ChobthamkitHoon-Seok Choi, Mioara Cristea, Sara Csaba, Kaja Damnjanović, Ivan Danyliuk, Arobindu Dash, Karen M. Douglas, Violeta Enea, Daiane Gracieli Faller, Gavan J. Fitzsimons, Alexandra Gheorghiu, Ángel Gómez, Ali Hamaidia, Qing Han, Mai Helmy, Joevarian Hudiyana, Bertus F. Jeronimus, Ding-Yu Jiang, Veljko Jovanović, Zeljka Kamenov, Anna Kende, Shian-Ling Keng, Tra Thi Thanh Kieu, Yasin Koc, Kamila Kovyazina, Inna Kozytska, Joshua Krause, Arie W. Kruglanski, Anton Kurapov, Maja Kutlaca, Nóra Anna Lantos, Edward P. Lemay, Cokorda Bagus J. Lesmana, Winnifred R. Louis, Adrian Lueders, Najma Iqbal Malik, Anton P. Martinez, Kira O. McCabe, Jasmina Mehulić, Mirra Noor Milla, Idris Mohammed, Erica Molinario, Manuel Moyano, Hayat Muhammad, Hamdi Muluk, Solomiia Myroniuk, Reza Najafi, Claudia F. Nisa, Boglárka Nyúl, Paul A. O'Keefe, Jose Javier Olivas Osuna, Evgeny N. Osin, Joonha Park, Gennaro Pica, Antonio Pierro, Jonas H. Rees, Anne Margit Reitsema, Marika Rullo, Michelle K. Ryan, Adil Samekin, Pekka Santtila, Edyta Sasin, Birga M. Schumpe, Heyla A. Selim, Michael Vicente Stanton, Wolfgang Stroebe, Samiah Sultana, Robbie M. Sutton, Eleftheria Tseliou, Akira Utsugi, Jolien A. van Breen, Caspar J. van Lissa, Kees van Veen, Michelle R. van Dellen, Alexandra Vázquez, Robin Wollast, Victoria Wai-Lan Yeung, Somayeh Zand, Iris Lav Žeželj, Bang Zheng, Andreas Zick, Claudia Zúñiga, N. Pontus Leander

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Abstract

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a global health crisis. Consequently, many countries have adopted restrictive measures that caused a substantial change in society. Within this framework, it is reasonable to suppose that a sentiment of societal discontent, defined as generalized concern about the precarious state of society, has arisen. Literature shows that collectively experienced situations can motivate people to help each other. Since societal discontent is conceptualized as a collective phenomenon, we argue that it could influence intention to help others, particularly those who suffer from coronavirus. Thus, in the present study, we aimed (a) to explore the relationship between societal discontent and intention to help at the individual level and (b) to investigate a possible moderating effect of societal discontent at the country level on this relationship. To fulfil our purposes, we used data collected in 42 countries (N = 61,734) from the PsyCorona Survey, a cross-national longitudinal study. Results of multilevel analysis showed that, when societal discontent is experienced by the entire community, individuals dissatisfied with society are more prone to help others. Testing the model with longitudinal data (N = 3,817) confirmed our results. Implications for those findings are discussed in relation to crisis management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Community and Applied Social Psychology
Early online date8 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • intention to help
  • societal discontent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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