Humans are social animals, but not everyone will be mindful of others to the same extent. Individual differences have been found, but would social mindfulness also be shaped by one's location in the world? Expecting cross-national differences to exist, we examined if and how social mindfulness differs across countries. At little to no material cost, social mindfulness typically entails small acts of attention or kindness. Even though fairly common, such low-cost cooperation has received little empirical attention. Measuring social mindfulness across 31 samples from industrialized countries and regions (n = 8,354), we found considerable variation. Among selected country-level variables, greater social mindfulness was most strongly associated with countries' better general performance on environmental protection. Together, our findings contribute to the literature on prosociality by targeting the kind of everyday cooperation that is more focused on communicating benevolence than on providing material benefits.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 31 Aug 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. C.P. passed away during the time we were working on the manuscript; we are grateful for his valuable contributions to this research. We thank Daniel Balliet for his helpful comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript. Research was supported in part by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) under Grant No. 022.003.040, awarded to P.A.M.-V.L. The contributions of M.H. and S. Graf were supported by Grant No. 20-01214S from the Czech Science Foundation and by Rozvoj Výzkumné Organ-izace (Development of a Research Organization): RVO 68081740 of the Institute of Psychology, Czech Academy of Sciences. The contribution of R.G. was supported by the Centre for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies (ANID/ FONDAL 15130009) and the Center for Intercultural and Indigenous Research (ANID/FONDAP 15110006). The contribution of G.J.L. was supported by Standard Research Grant No. 410-2010-1221 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The contributions of S. Gächter and O.W. were supported by the European Research Council Grant No. ERC-AdG 295707 COOPERATION.
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- Cross-national differences
- Low-cost cooperation
- Social mindfulness