Background the to Study

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
“This presentation contains
copyrighted material under
the educational fair use
exemption to the U.S.
copyright law”
AICE AS Level Psychology
 Piliavin, Rodin, & Piliavin (1969)
 Lecture 1
GOOD SAMARITANISM:
AN UNDERGROUND
PHENOMENON?
Piliavin, Rodin, & Piliavin (1969)
AICE Psych- Social Psych Unit
“Kitty” Genovese murder in
1964 in Queens, NY

 Stabbed twice in the back.. suspect ran away
as someone yelled from an apt. window
 After 10 minutes of no one showing up,
suspect comes back and rapes her, stabs her
(again), and stole $50- lasted ½ hour
 Police investigation notes that 38 people heard or
witnessed the attack but did not intervene b/c
they “didn’t want to get involved”

Led to wave of research into
“bystander effect”
Background to the Study

A. Darley & Latane (1968) study- yielded the
theory of “diffusion of responsibility” (aka
“bystander effect” or “Genovese syndrome”)
 1. In a lab setting at Columbia U, researchers staged
emergencies with college participants
 2. Subject heard another 'subject' (really a tape recording
of an actor) having an epileptic fit. This 'subject' was
believed to be in a nearby room.
 3. In some instances, the real subject was told he was the
only one around. In other trials, he was told that there
were other ppl listening as well.
Background to the Study
PollEv.com or Text to 37607
 Do you think people will be more likely to help when
they are

CLASS
HOUR
OPTION
CODE
2
A) Alone
B) w/2 other ppl
C) w/3 other ppl
A)728474
B)728475
C)728476
3
A) Alone
B) w/2 other ppl
C) w/3 other ppl
A)728543
B)728544
C)728545
4
A) Alone
B) w/2 other ppl
C) w/3 other ppl
A)728560
B)728561
C)728562
6
A) Alone
B) w/2 other ppl
C) w/3 other ppl
A)728014
B)728579
C)728580
7
A) Alone
B) w/2 other ppl
C) w/3 other ppl
A)528587
B)528588
C)528589
3. Results- when alone= 80% helped, when 3
people=60% helped, and when 4+ people=30%
helped
 4. Showed that the more people who are present
in a situation, the less likely that we are to help
 5. Contend that in order for one to help, one
must:
◦ -notice the event
◦ -interpret the event as an emergency
◦ -assume personal responsibility
◦ -choose a way to help
◦ -implement the decision to help

Cue 1: Describe an instance where
you faced the decision to help (or not)
in a situation

Background the to Study

B. Latane and Rodin (1969) conducted another
similar lab experiment
◦ 1. Found that few people in a large group would
go to help an experimenter, who had
pretended to fall off a chair in another room
C. But the 2 studies lacked ecological validity
-experiments were in a laboratory
-the tasks were not that true to life
-the victim was not in sight
-the subjects were college students
Background to the Study
D. From these 2 studies, the Piliavins
and Rodin wanted to test the
phenomenon in a more natural
setting
 1. So, the Piliavins & Rodin choose NY
subways...
Background to the Study
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1. An experiment conducted in a more
natural environment (in the field).
2. As with the laboratory experiment, the IV
is still manipulated by the researcher.
3. Participants are often not aware they are
participating in an experiment
4. Advantages- more ecological validity &
less demand characteristics
5. Disadvantages- cannot control external
variables, ethics
Cue 2: Describe a field study that
YOU would conduct today that
investigated the bystander effect.
Field Experiment Summary

A. Aim of the study was to investigate whether
diffusion of responsibility applies in all situations
and what other factors might influence helping
behaviour
◦ Specifically, wanted to see which variables made it more or
less likely that someone would help a stranger who
collapses in a public place. They were particularly
interested in:
◦ 1. Type of victim: ill victim or drunk victim
◦ 2. Race of victim: white or black
◦ 3. Effect of modeling: do people follow a model?
◦ 4. Group size: what effect does group
size have?
Purpose & Hypotheses
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B. Unlike previous lab studies, the field experiment
investigated the (a) impact of the presence of a model
and (b) the relationship between the size of the group
& frequency of helping.
C. Hypotheses 1- an individual would be more inclined to help someone of
their own race
 2- help would be offered more and in a quicker fashion for the
ill victim (cane) over the drunk victim
 “people who are responsible for their own plight will receive
less help”
Cue 3: Concerning the hypotheses, what
do you think the outcomes will be? Why?
Purpose & Hypotheses
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Diffusion of responsibility- the more people
around, the less likely we are to intervene
Pluralistic ignorance- we look around for
clues, and if no one else is helping/getting
involved, we are less likely to intervene
Empathy altruism model- if we can
empathize (identify) with the person, we are
more likely to intervene then
Theoretical Basis & Terms

“This presentation contains
copyrighted material under
the educational fair use
exemption to the U.S.
copyright law”
AICE AS Level Psychology
 Piliavin, Rodin, & Piliavin (1969)
 Lecture 2
Used NY Subway system-“a lab on wheels”
 From 11am-3pm weekdays during AprilJune 1968 at random times
 It was a 7 ½ minute, non-stop ride


Cue 4: Why was it important
to use a non-stop ride during
the trials?
Methodology- Location
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A. 4 teams of 4 stooges (2M, 2F) (students)
◦
◦
◦
◦
1.
2.
3.
4.
Males played the part of the victim & observer
1 team had a black ‘victim’, others white
White females were observers in all teams
All experimenters wore identical clothing
 a. bomber jacket, old slacks, no tie (#losers)
Methodology- The 4 Stooges
• Subway ‘participants’
◦
◦
◦
◦
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43- avg # of riders per section (carriage)
8.5-avg # of riders in ‘critical area’
roughly 55% white & 45% black
estimated 4,500 people overall
(opportunity sample)
Methodology- Participants
Cue 5: Why were the 2 observers in the
adjacent area instead of the critical area?
Methodology- Layout
Critical area- area in which the victim
(confederate) collapsed
 Adjacent area- area further away from the victim
(confederate), at the other end of the subway
train, in which the observers stood
 ‘Drunk condition’- victim smells of alcohol and
carries a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag
 ‘Cane condition’- victim appears to be sober and
carries a cane
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Methodology- Terminology
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‘Victims’ (drunk or cane) were either black or
white, aged 26-35
Models (helpers) were all white, aged 24-29
103 ‘experimental’ trials took place
38 drunken ones
65 cane ones
Cue 6: What critiques can be made about
these characteristics of the stooges?
Methodology- Trials
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Procedure:
◦ 1. 70 seconds after the subway left the stop,
◦
victim pretended to collapse
◦ 2. Victim remained on floor until helped OR
◦ 3. Model was instructed to help either after 70
◦
seconds (early trial) or 150 seconds (late
◦
trial) to see if others would also help
Methodology- Procedure
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4. Observers recorded response time, info on
race, gender, sitting or standing, & location of
passengers and those who helped
5. Observers also noted overheard comments or
if the passengers moved away
6. Whether the victim (cane or drunk) was
helped or not, the team would exit the train
at the new station and cross over to another
train going back to the original station
7. 6 to 8 trials were ran on any
given day
Methodology- Procedure
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Independent Variables:
◦ -Type of victim (drunk or cane)
-Race of victim (white or black)
-Manipulated actions of the model
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Dependent Variables:
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-Race of the helper
-Which victim was helped most
-Speed of helping
-Gender of helper
-How many people helped
-Whether bystanders moved away
-Overheard comments
Methodology- Variables
A. Study implemented observational data collection
B. Advantages
◦ -Behaviour is more naturalistic
◦ -More ecologically validity
 C. Disadvantages
◦ -May be difficult to record so much information at
any one time and may miss some data
◦ -Difficult to pinpoint variables in observations (what
actually constitutes helping?)
◦ -May misinterpret some behaviours and inter-rater
reliability is sometimes difficult
◦ -Easy to gather quant data (but not qual data)
◦ -Possible unexpected behaviour
◦ -Less ethical
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Methodology- Data Collection

“This presentation contains
copyrighted material under
the educational fair use
exemption to the U.S.
copyright law”
AICE AS Level Psychology
 Piliavin, Rodin, & Piliavin (1969)
 Lecture 3

A. Overall, 93% spontaneous help (before the
model), 60% had more than one helper

LOOK AT TABLE 1 IN STUDY
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B. Cane victim- 100% help w/out model (62/62)
-100% help w/model (3/3)
-=95% spontaneous help of total trials (62/65)
-avg of 5 seconds to help
C. Drunk victim- 86% help w/out model (19/22)
-75% help w/model (12/16)
-=50% spontaneous help of total trials (19/38)
-avg of 109 seconds to help
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Results- Data (quan)
Results- Data (quan)
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E. Black victims received less help less
quickly (especially in drunk condition)
F. Neither race was more helpful overall…
◦ 1. BUT there was a slight ‘same race effect’
where whites were more likely to help the
white victim (most noticeable in drunk
condition among blacks too)
G. Men were significantly more likely to help
(90% of first helpers)
Cue 7: Why do you think that there was a
race effect? What about more males
helping?
Results- Data
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H. In 20% of the trials, subway riders moved
away from the critical area (34 people)
-mostly females, noting their size/strength
“It’s for men to help him”
“I wish I could help him – I’m not strong enough”
“I never saw this kind of thing before – I don’t know
where to look”
"You feel so bad that you don't know what to do."
Results- Data (mixed)
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I. No ‘diffusion of responsibility’ was found
◦ 1. In fact, there was a trend for more help being
offered with the larger group size
2. Authors suggest this may be b/c the Ps were
face to face with the victim unlike in the lab
experiments

Cue 8: What other factors may have led
to the difference b/w this study and the
previous lab studies?
Results
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K. The longer that the victim went without
help:
◦ (1) the less impact a model had on bystanders
intervening
◦ (2) the more likely that bystanders were to
leave the critical area
◦ (3) the more likely bystanders were to discuss
the incident
Results
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A. Arousal: Cost-Reward Model-(ACR model)
◦ 1. “proposes that the decision to help others
depends on the arousal and the costs and
rewards of helping versus not helping”
B. According to the Piliavins and Rodin (1969),
their model explains the behavior on the
subway system:
 1) When there is an emergency, bystanders
have an unpleasant experience of nervous
arousal and they want
to decrease/eliminate this
Discussion- ACR Model
 2) We can reduce this arousal by either (a)
helping the victim, (b) going and getting help for
the victim (not an option in this study), (c)
leaving the area, or (d) deciding not to offer help
b/c you think the victim doesn’t deserve it
 3) Bystanders choose their response based on a
COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS. This means they weigh
the costs of helping or not, weigh the benefits of
helping or not, and choose the option with the
lowest costs & the highest benefits
Discussion- ACR Model
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D. Possible costs of helping:
◦
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-the effort (may be physically demanding)
-the time required (we may be late for work)
-the loss of resources (damage to clothes)
-the risk of harm
-negative emotional response (we may feel sick)
E. Possible costs of not helping:
-may feel guilty/ashamed
-if something bad happens, “it was my fault”
F. Possible rewards for helping
-self-esteem & social approval
Discussion- ACR Model

G. The ACR Model may help explain some of the
results from the study:
◦ 1)There was less help for the drunk-victim,
because the costs were higher (disgust,
fear) and the benefits lower (it was his own
fault he fell)
◦ 2) Lower female help b/c they felt the costs
were higher (danger) and the benefits were
lower (it's not a woman's role to be heroic)
Discussion- ACR Model
3) There was more same-race help because of
greater empathy for the victim and the
costs of not helping (disapproval for not
helping your own)
4) The longer the emergency lasted, the
more people moved away from the
critical area (reducing arousal)
Discussion- ACR Model
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Strengths
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High ecological validity
◦ High internal validity
Standardized procedure
Proposed new theoretical explanation
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Weaknesses
Less strict conditions in field than lab
Unequal trials (only 8 black cane)
Ethical considerations
Strengths & Weaknesses
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Numerous ethical problems:
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Lack of informed consent
Deception
No debriefing took place
No explanation of purpose
Possibly caused anxiety, inconvenience,
and/or lasting effects on subway riders
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Ethical Considerations

1972 study- victim used a fake blood
capsule- help rate decreased to 60% due to
psychological aversion- bystanders more
likely to get someone else to help

1975 study- when victim had ‘ugly
facial birthmark,’ help rate at 61%
Follow-up studies

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