The prosocial pandemic
: a study on prosocial behavioural intentions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Mariana Calado Bernardo Cardoso Leitão (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


On December 31st, 2019, the World Health Organization was introduced to COVID-19 - a new disease that would turn out to be the global pandemic of the century. Since then, the coronavirus has left a trail of unforeseeable consequences in our society, ranging from a public health mayhem to an environment of socio-economic uncertainty. Despite physical changes being evident in everyone's lives, some changes are not as clear to the naked eye. In fact, the way individuals think and act may have also changed. The present research focuses on some of those changes, in particular in what concerns one’s prosociality – How has individuals’ prosocial behavioural intentions been affected by the pandemic context?This dissertation sought to answer this question by exploring possible responses and reactions to the pandemic that would have an impact on prosocial intentions, in addition to how individuals respond to prosocial decisions when presented with a pandemic reminder. A series of studies revealed that the COVID-19 situational context fosters indeed individuals’ prosocial behavioural intentions. Several findings led to this conclusion, in particular that both a higher concern and an increased understanding of COVID-19 as a matter of socio-economic relevance, increases individuals’ willingness to help. Moreover, when reminded of the pandemic, individuals revealed willingness to make higher donations as well as showed a preference to buy from small businesses proportional to their assessment on their financial risk.COVID-19 is undoubtedly changing the world, and, in what concerns prosociality, for the better.
Date of Award15 Oct 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorJoão Niza Braga (Supervisor)


  • Prosocial behavioural intentions
  • Prosociality
  • Prosocial behaviour
  • COVID-19
  • Pandemic
  • Crisis
  • Situational factors
  • Reminders
  • Donation
  • Small businesses


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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