Media influences on group-serving attribution and prosocial intention: Testing the mediation of group identification and the moderation of independent self-construal

Jay Yijie Zhu, Chin Ming Hui, Sylvia Xiaohua Chen, Yanjun Guan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Two experiments (ns = 98 and 193 college students) were conducted to examine how news stories highlighting either the positive or negative qualities displayed by in-group members during a natural disaster might affect people’s group-serving attribution and prosocial intentions towards those affected by the disaster, and the roles of group identification and independent self-construal played. In both experiments, Chinese participants were asked to recall news featuring positive or negative qualities during the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. The results revealed that participants in the positive news condition reported more external attribution for the losses suffered in the Earthquake and higher prosociality toward the sufferers. Additionally, we found that (a) ingroup identification mediated the effects of news on both outcomes (Studies 1 & 2) and (b) the mediation only worked for those who had a lower level of independent self-construal (Study 2). The roles of identity processes involved in the consumption of news were discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2021


  • Group identification
  • Group-serving attribution
  • Independent self-construal
  • News reports
  • Prosocial intention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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