Who is the more ethical person: those who help strangers or those who help family members? The answer is: it depends. According to McManus et al. (2020), the answer is “it depends”.
In Studies 1 and 2, agents who helped a stranger were judged as more morally good and trustworthy than those who helped kin, but agents who helped a stranger, instead of kin were judged as less morally good and trustworthy than those who did the opposite. In Studies 3 and 4, agents who simply neglected a stranger were judged as less morally bad and untrustworthy than those who neglected kin. Study 4 also demonstrated that the violation (vs. fulfillment) of perceived obligations underlaid all judgment patterns.
What it depends on in fact is whether individuals believe that a moral obligation has been violated (as well as the strength of that moral obligation).
Hat tip: Kevin Lewis.