Why do humble individuals act more altruistically toward foreigners: A moderated mediation model

Published: 6 December 2022| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/wrwr3886dy.1
Yunfan Yue


According to the humility-helping hypothesis, the question of whether humility affects altruistic behavior has received extensive attention. However, researchers have not established many links between humility and international altruism. This study focused on humility, which was defined as being intellectually open, other-oriented, and capable of recognizing one's limits. The study explored humility as a stable personality trait and assessed whether it encouraged international altruism. It also examined the underlying mechanism between the foregoing relationship. We recruited 940 college students aged 18 to 23 to participate in an anonymous online survey and obtained 929 data points. The results showed that humility has a direct impact on international altruism. They largely supported the theoretical framework of the humility-helping hypothesis at the inter-group level. We also addressed the mediating effect that identifying with all humanity had on the relationship between humility and international altruism. The findings showed that two forms of empathy (empathy and group empathy) have a moderating effect, indicating that different forms of empathy should be more emphasized in different social situations. Taken together, the results show that developing people's humility and helping them to identify with all humanity are key to promoting inter-group altruism, especially for those who can empathize with other people or groups.