Global social identity and global cooperation

Nancy R. Buchan, Marilynn B. Brewer, Gianluca Grimalda, Rick K. Wilson, Enrique Fatas, Margaret Foddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Citations (Scopus)


This research examined the question of whether the psychology of social identity can motivate cooperation in the context of a global collective. Our data came from a multinational study of choice behavior in a multilevel public-goods dilemma conducted among samples drawn from the general populations of the United States, Italy, Russia, Argentina, South Africa, and Iran. Results demonstrate that an inclusive social identification with the world community is a meaningful psychological construct that plays a role in motivating cooperation that transcends parochial interests. Self-reported identification with the world as a whole predicts behavioral contributions to a global public good beyond what is predicted from expectations about what other people are likely to contribute. Furthermore, global social identification is conceptually distinct from general attitudes about global issues, and has unique effects on cooperative behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-828
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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