The importance of trust and altruistic social orientation for COVID-19 distress
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The Maria Grzegorzewska University, Warsaw, Poland
Submission date: 2022-09-27
Final revision date: 2023-08-27
Acceptance date: 2023-09-28
Online publication date: 2023-11-16
Corresponding author
Dorota Jasielska   

The Maria Grzegorzewska University, Warsaw, Poland
The COVID-19 pandemic, the biggest global health crisis in decades, has been a difficult experience for nations all over the world. In the present study we wanted to assess to what extent a positive attitude towards others, expressed in altruistic social orientation and a high level of trust, would be linked to lower levels of COVID-19 distress in infected and non-infected individuals.

Participants and procedure:
A total 405 individuals (180 women, 44%), aged 18-60 (M = 38.91, SD = 11.02) participated in the study. Respondents were recruited by a research platform. The following questionnaires were completed: the Subjective Happiness Scale, Generalized Trust Scale, survey about COVID-19, social value orientations.

The analysis showed that in non-infected high trustors the relationship between altruistic social orientation and COVID-19 distress was significant – the more they were willing to benefit others, the less distress they felt. The reverse effect was observed for infected high trustors – the more altruistic social orientation they expressed, the higher the level of COVID-19 distress they declared.

Our findings shed some light on the importance of a positive attitude towards others in assessing the emotional outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic. They also imply that people who have experienced the COVID-19 disease can suffer from distress differently than people who have not been affected.

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