Altruistic Values of Self and In-Groups and Implications for Suffering Alleviation
This chapter attempts to demonstrate that altruistic social identities contribute to the development of an altruistic personal identity that results in relieving others’ suffering. Previous research has primarily focused on self-values or personal identities in predicting altruistic orientations or behaviors; little empirical research has linked personal values to social identities, and almost no work expands this to explore the implications for altruistic obligations that potentially help alleviate the suffering of others. We address this issue using a new cross-national survey, the Moral Schemas, Cultural Conflict, and Socio-Political Action Survey (2015) that includes data from four countries: United States, France, Turkey and South Korea. We operationalize altruistic social identities as identifying with groups that prioritize benevolence and universalism and altruistic personal identities as emphasizing benevolence and universalism for self. Our results mostly support our argument that identifying with groups that value benevolence and caring for others (holding altruistic social identities) contributes to the development of an altruistic personal identity with some exceptions in Turkey and South Korea. These findings have significant implications for future research on the altruistic self and alleviating suffering in different cultural contexts.