4 May 2020



Prof. Hanna Zagefka

Royal Holloway University of London

Department of Psychology




Evidence for the International Development Select Committee (chair: Sarah Champion MP) on the impact of coronavirus on developing countries (Humanitarian crises monitoring)


The presented evidence speaks to this aspect of the inquiry:


Summary of key points

A rapid response programme of research tested predictors of British nationals donating money to coronavirus relief efforts in developing countries. Key findings:

  1. Views on who is to blame for the coronavirus crisis affect British donors’ decisions of whether to donate to coronavirus relief efforts in developing countries. A belief that the British government has mishandled the crisis encourages donations
  2. A belief that the Chinese government has mishandled the crisis discourages donations1
  3. A belief that coronavirus victims in developing countries are to blame for their problems themselves discourages donations2
  4. Seeing the coronavirus crisis as a global problem that can only be addressed by cooperation across the globe encourages donations to developing countries3












Relevance/implications of insights


Further details5


Limitations & strengths of evidence


The author

Is professor of social psychology at Royal Holloway University of London. Her lab researches prosocial behaviour and intergroup helping.


Key sources of information/references

1              Zagefka, H. (under review). Willingness to donate money to help coronavirus victims: effects of group identities and blame attributions. British Journal of Social Psychology.

2              Zagefka, H., et al. (2011). Donating to disaster victims: responses to natural and humanly caused events. European Journal of Social Psychology, 41, 353-363.

3         Zagefka, H. (under review). Anxiety and Global Common Fate as Predictors of Ingroup and Outgroup Helping in the Context of COVID-19. British Journal of Social Psychology.

4         Zagefka, H., & James, T. (2015). The psychology of charitable donations to disaster victims and beyond. Social Issues and Policy Review, 9, 155-192.

5         Oppenheimer, D. M., & Olivola, C. Y. (Eds.). (2011). The science of giving. London: Psychology Press.