The Role of Empathy in Responding to Natural Disasters: Comment on “Who Helps Natural Disaster Victims?”


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Jillian Banfield, Department of Psychology, Yale University, Box 208205, New Haven, CT 06520-8205 [e-mail:].


Comment on Marjanovic, Struthers, and Greenglass (2012). We build on the authors’ ideas, data, and interpretations to suggest future avenues for research, focusing on situations that hold potential for empathic concern to shape helping responses. Specifically, we suggest investigating the time course of reactions to natural disasters and the group membership of the victims as moderators. Additionally, we suggest that considering different forms of helping responses and their predictors can shed theoretical light on variables that promote helping following natural disasters.