Psychological well-being is associated with prosociality during the COVID-19 pandemic: A comparison of Swedish and Chinese samples

Emotion. 2023 Jun;23(4):1075-1087. doi: 10.1037/emo0001121. Epub 2022 Aug 11.


This study revisited the link between psychological well-being and prosociality during a global crisis from a cross-cultural perspective. We surveyed two large samples of Chinese (N₁ = 1,030; 89 regions; May 1-6, 2020) and Swedish (N₂ = 1,160; 22 regions; May 14-24, 2020) individuals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Across both countries, we observed that psychological well-being was strongly associated with one's self-reported tendency to perform prosocial behaviors, including actions aimed at relieving the burden of the pandemic (e.g., money donation to charity organizations during COVID-19). Moreover, leveraging inter- and within-subject similarity approaches, our findings suggested that well-being was related to the coherence of prosocial behaviors across domains (including trust, cooperation, and altruism). Collectively, our replication effort shows that psychological well-being holds relevance for prosocial behaviors during a global crisis, with primarily invariance between individualistic and collectivistic cultures. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Altruism
  • COVID-19* / psychology
  • China
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • East Asian People / psychology
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Psychological Well-Being* / psychology
  • Scandinavians and Nordic People / psychology
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Trust / psychology

Supplementary concepts

  • Chinese people
  • Swede people