Purpose: The research examined whether group identities at different levels of inclusiveness – i.e., identifications with one’s country and the European Union – are related to responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. We expected that stronger identifications would lead to positive future expectations and lower need for a strong leader, which should instead be positively associated to belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories. Background: According to the social identity approach, identifying with the groups to which one belongs brings a number of benefits for individuals and increases mutual trust. Conversely, feelings of insecurity might be a breeding ground for beliefs in conspiracy theories and result in a wish for strong authorities. Methods: Data were collected online during the peak of the Italian Coronavirus outbreak (April 2020; Study 1; N = 846) and the so-called Phase 2 (June 2020; Study 2, N = 363). The role of demographics, political orientation and personal experience with the Coronavirus were considered. Results. Results of SEM showed a positive association between identifications and expectations for the future, mediated by trust in institutions (Study 1). European identification predicted lower need for strong leader, which was positively related to belief in conspiracy theories (Study 2). Conclusions. This research highlights how social identification processes – especially identification with the EU – can help individuals deal with the pandemic. Clearly promoting a sense of interdependence and a European identity might represent an advisable endeavour in helping people cope with the present and even future crisis.
No one is saved alone: National and European identification as predictors of positive future expectations and lower need for a strong leader during COVID-19 pandemic / Moscatelli, Silvia; Graziani, Anna Rita; Botindari, Lucia; Ciaffoni, Stefano; Menegatti, Michela. - (2021). (Intervento presentato al convegno THE 44TH ANNUAL SCIENTIFIC MEETING OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY (ISPP): Recognition and (Re) Claiming Spaces: Marginalization, Colonization, and Privilege tenutosi a virtual nel 11-13 Luglio 2021).