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Individual humanitarian responses to global emergencies: an integrated framework of helping in context

Albayrak-Aydemir, Nihan (2021) Individual humanitarian responses to global emergencies: an integrated framework of helping in context. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.00004286


This thesis examines individual humanitarian responses to global emergencies in the context of the Syrian refugee emergency. Through three empirical papers, it scrutinises political support, helping intention, and charitable donation of those who are physically and psychologically distant from Syrian refugees. The first paper tests the global-scale applicability of the bystander intervention model and assesses cognitive factors derived from context to account for the physical distance between potential helpers and refugees. Across three cross-sectional studies, it provides the first empirical evidence on global bystander intervention, develops a Global Bystander Intervention Scale, and recognises the visibility of the global emergency aftermaths within the context as a meaningful driver for help. The second paper utilises the social identity theory and investigates multiple identities in context and interaction to account for the psychological distance between potential helpers and refugees. Across three quasi-experimental and experimental studies, it provides authentic evidence on the role of national and religious identities in helping and identifies distinctive responses based on the interactions between the identities of potential helpers and refugees. The third paper integrates a social identity perspective into global bystander intervention and explores the joint role of cognitive and identity-based factors in helping those who are both physically and psychologically distant. Through a semi-structured in-depth interview study, it provides comprehensive evidence as to why people fail to help in global emergencies and proposes five key elements that shape individual helping responses in connection with physical and psychological distances. Overall, the thesis addresses some of the limitations of the social psychological literature on helping by examining helping in different forms and dimensions, with both quantitative and qualitative data, and within an integrated theoretical framework. The findings establish the importance of considering the primary and secondary effects of the context in which help takes place.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2021 Nihan Albayrak-Aydemir
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Sets: Departments > Psychological and Behavioural Science
Supervisor: Gleibs, Ilka H.

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