The price of prosociality in pandemic times

Hernando Santamaría-García, Miguel Burgaleta, Agustina Legaz, Daniel Flichtentrei, Mateo Córdoba-Delgado, Juliana Molina-Paredes, Juliana Linares-Puerta, Juan Montealegre-Gómez, Sandra Castelblanco, Michael Schulte, Juan David Páramo, Izara Mondragon, Juan David Leongómez, Paula Salamone, Juan González-Pacheco, Sandra Báez, Harris Eyre, Agustín Ibanez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has imposed widespread negative impacts (economically, psychologically, neurologically, and societally), and has changed daily behaviors on a global scale. Such impacts are more significant and pervasive in countries with higher levels of inequality and reduced Government capacity and responsiveness, such as those in the Global South (e.g., Colombia). Differences in social and moral cognitive skills may significantly impact individual attitudes and responses to the pandemic. Here, we aimed to assess the extent to which factors associated with prosociality (including empathy, theory of mind (ToM), and moral judgments) predict the perception of SARS-CoV-2 impacts and responses. Participants (N = 413) from Colombia answered factors associated with prosociality measures and judgments about SARS-CoV-2 risk, impact, and acceptance of quarantine guidelines. Results revealed that affective empathy (personal distress and empathic concern) and moral tendencies (deontological trends) predicted greater acceptance of quarantine but in turn yielded an increased perception of risks and individual impacts of SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, age (older) and gender (female) also increased the risk perception and impact estimation. These results underscore the role of prosocial-related predispositions informing individual responses to the pandemic and provide an opportunity to exploit this knowledge to inform successful interventions favoring behavioral change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15
JournalHumanities and Social Sciences Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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