All humanity is my ingroup: a measure and studies of identification with all humanity

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2012 Nov;103(5):830-53. doi: 10.1037/a0028724. Epub 2012 Jun 18.


To psychologists Adler (1927/1954) and Maslow (1954), fully mature individuals care deeply for all humanity, not just for their own ingroups. This paper reports a series of studies with a new measure of that caring, the Identification With All Humanity Scale (IWAH). These studies together show that identification with all humanity is more than an absence of ethnocentrism and its correlates and more than the presence of dispositional empathy, moral reasoning, moral identity, and the value of universalism. Across these studies, the IWAH predicted concern for global human rights and humanitarian needs (Studies 1 and 2), was temporally stable (Study 3), and correlated with how close others see one as being (Study 4). The IWAH strongly distinguished members of 2 known groups from a general adult sample (Study 5). It predicted valuing the lives of ingroup and outgroup members equally (Study 7), knowledge of global humanitarian concerns (Study 8) and choosing to learn about these concerns (Study 9), and a willingness to contribute to international humanitarian relief (Study 10). In regression analyses, it predicted these results beyond related constructs. Although psychologists have focused extensively upon negative qualities such as ethnocentrism and its roots, we suggest that the positive quality of identification with all humanity also merits extensive study.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Altruism*
  • Empathy / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morals
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation*
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Identification*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Young Adult