Altruistic giving towards refugees: Identifying factors that increase citizens’ willingness to help

Susann Fiedler, Andreas Glöckner, Marie Hellmann

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


Over the past decade, the world has faced an unprecedented refugee crisis. The large number of incoming refugees represents a challenge for host societies and its citizens triggering reactions from a supportive welcome to brusque rejection and hostile behavior toward refugees. In a pre-registered study, we investigated factors that could promote altruistic behavior in fully incentivized one-shot Dictator Game toward various receiver groups including refugees. We find that host citizens behave more altruistically toward refugees and other receiver groups if they (a) share a local identity with them (i.e., live in the same city), and (b) perceive them to be close (to the self) and warm-hearted. Moreover, citizens that are (c) generally more prosocial and hold a more left-wing political orientation are more willing to give. Unexpectedly, from a theoretical point of view, altruistic giving toward refugees was not influenced in the predicted direction by a shared student identity, competition and perceived income differences (although the latter effect was significant when considering all receiver groups). For shared student identity we even observe a reduction of altruistic behavior, while the opposite effect was predicted. We discuss implications for public policies for successful refugee helping and integration.
FachzeitschriftFrontiers in Psychology
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2021

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