"One of us": Outstanding willingness to help save a single identified compatriot

Tehila Kogut, Ilana Ritov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Willingness to help victims unrelated to oneself, in situations where reciprocity is irrelevant, is a common form of altruism. Prior research showed that people are more willing to extend such help when the victims are identified, particularly when the target of help is a single individual. However, in the present research we found that only when the perceivers regard the victims as belonging to their own in-group, willingness to help a single identified individual is greater than willingness to help a group of individuals: identifying tsunami victims by name increased actual contributions only when the specified target was a single compatriot. The role of perceived shared social group in promoting the victim singularity advantage in contributions was mirrored in ratings of emotions, thus supporting an affective account of helping behavior.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)150-157
Number of pages8
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by The Israel Science Foundation (Grant No. 1384/04).


  • Emotion
  • Identifiable victims


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