Department of Political Science

Communal sharing/identity fusion does not require reflection on episodic memory of shared experience or trauma – and usually generates kindness

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  • Lotte Thomsen
  • Alan P. Fiske, University of California, United States

Identity fusion is remarkably similar to the extensively validated construct of communal sharing, proposed in 1991. Both posit that notions of oneness/unity/equivalence with others underpin altruism. However, we argue that oneness/equivalence instantiates an evolved, innate relational form, marked and constituted by cultural practices making participants' bodies substantially the same. It is intuitive from earliest development, often encompasses persons whom one has never met, and results mostly in caring.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere219
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Altruism, Memory, Episodic

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