The Effect of Induced Threat in Different Levels of Proximity on Parochial Altruism and its Components

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD student in psychology, Department of Psychology, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Iran

2 MSc. clinical psychology, Shahid Beheshti University

3 Faculty of Psychology & Educational Sciences, Shahid Behehsti University, Tehran, Iran

4 Assistant professor, Department of Psychology, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Iran



Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of induced threat in different levels of proximity on parochial altruism. Method: The research method was experimental, between-subject factorial design with two factors of condition of threat (induced threat vs. control condition) and proximity (high vs. medium vs. low). The statistical population of the study consisted of all Persian speaking Iranian citizens of Tehran, Ghom and Hamedan and 192 individuals were selected using availability sampling method. Participants of each city (64 individuals) were randomly assigned in experimental and control groups. Individuals in experimental group were primed with threat induction condition. Data were collected using the Dictator Game, questionnaire of attitude towards immigrants and an aggression game. Data were analyzed by two-way multivariate analysis of covariance. Results: The results showed that interactional effect of proximity and induced threat on aggressive behavior towards out-group members was statistically significant, Whereas, this interactional effect was not statistically significant for in-group altruistic behavior. Parochial altruism was not approved. Conclusion: Based on the results of the current study, it can be concluded that the effect of induced threat on the amount of out-group aggression is dependent upon level of proximity. However, the effect of threat on in-group altruistic behavior does not depend on level of proximity.


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