Social Psychology: Bystander Apathy Experiment

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Register to read the introduction…Fifty-nine female and thirteen male students from introductory psychology in NYU were recruited and told that they were participating in discussion about personal problems. However they were told that this discussion would take place through intercom and no face-to-face interaction was necessary. The hypothesis of the study was that the presence of more than one person in the helping area would lead to the responsibility of helping being diffused among the onlookers. To test this hypothesis, Darley and Latane created two cases of emergencies, one during a group discussion and one during a one-on-one discussion during both a pre-recorded voice on intercom is of an epileptic student who is having a seizure. It is mentioned that it could be life threatening but can only hear and not see the epileptic…show more content…
The parable describes how both a priest and a Levite passed a robbery victim on the road to Jericho without helping, whereas a Samaritan helped. The experiment researchers had three hypotheses that they wanted to test; (i) People thinking about religion and higher principles would be no more inclined to show helping behavior than laymen. (ii) People in a rush would be much less likely to show helping behavior. (iii) People who are religious for personal gain would be less likely to help than people who are religious because they want to gain some spiritual and personal insights into the meaning of life. Forty Religious studies students took part in the experiment and told to fill a questionnaire about religious affiliation and beliefs. In one building, they completed the questionnaire, and then they were instructed to go to another building. One group was told they had to give a talk on jobs and another, a talk on the parable of the Good Samaritan. Some participants were told not to rush and others being informed that speed was of the essence. On the way to the second building, a confederate was hunched over in the alley, in plain sight, in clear need of…show more content…
The five steps are as follows: first, the bystander must notice that something is wrong. Secondly, they must be able to define it as a situation requiring help. They must then decide whether to take personal responsibility and furthermore what kind of help to give. Finally, the last step is to implement the decision to intervene. In Latane and Rodin’s “Lady in Distress” (1969) laboratory experiment set out to test this theory. The participants were set to wait in a room alone, with a friend, with a passive confederate, or with a stranger. They then heard a woman in an adjoining room fall and cry out in pain. The results showed there was no difference between the helping behavior when alone or with a friend, but its likelihood dropped when with a stranger and was lowest when with a passive confederate. The interpretation of the result was consistent with previous laboratory studies: Helping behavior decreased in large groups. This was explained using the concept of diffusion of responsibility in which the outcome is diffused, or spread, among many people. The aspect of modelling was also relevant, because when with a passive confederate the least help was given. It seems that the social influence of the other person and their actions are relatively important. Over all the results are consistent with the five step model and explain how a person
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