Under pressure we act more socially

Have you noticed that social compassion was way less when autumn came compared to the first wave of infections in spring? I read a research article and couldn’t help but think this (partly) explains why. Apparently people share more when put under pressure. These researchers tested whether kids behave in the same way as adults. They do. Children share more stickers with an absent child (represented by a picture) when put under pressure. When they have time to think, they become more selfish.

During the first wave of covid-19 infections we were all overwhelmed. It was a period when I had a lot of online interaction with family and friends. Talked the neighbours quite often. Hung out in the park, chatting to other parents present. Since October? Hardly anything of that. Of course hanging out in the park became less likely due to weather conditions, but talking to friends and family was reduced to a bare minimum. Sentiment towards new imposed restrictions became more and more negative, generally speaking. I heard more people complaining. Nobody applauds for hospital personnel these days. Posters stating ‘we’ll get through this together’ disappeared.

Now that the immediate pressure for action turned into a long marathon of social distancing people keep more to themselves. At least that’s my observation.