When tragedy strikes a group, only some group members characteristically rush to the aid of the victims. What motivates the altruism of these exceptional individuals? Here, we provide one set of answers based on data collected before and shortly after the 15 April 2013, Boston Marathon bombings. The results of three studies indicated that Americans who were strongly “fused” with their country were especially inclined to provide various forms of support to the bombing victims. Moreover, the degree to which participants reported perceiving fellow Americans as psychological kin statistically mediated links between fusion and pro-group outcomes. Together, these findings shed new light on relationships between personal and group identity, cognitive representations of group members, and personally costly, pro-group actions.
- Psychological Kinship
- Boston Bombings