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Vanessa Acosta

on 21 May 2014

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Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death in Queens, NY
38 bystanders heard her screams for help but no one called the police until it was too late

News of this event shocked the city and nation
Lord of the Flies
In chapter 11, Jacks group of boys kill Piggy and have barely any emotions. If Roger had been alone away from the group, there would be a small chance he would have pushed the boulder. When you put wild boys together they seem to make actions that they would have otherwise not have done alone. This is called Mob Mentality.
Bystander Effect
The Kitty Genovese tragedy became the basis for research on the psychological phenomenon that became known as the "Bystander Effect"

Conducted by psychologists John Darley and Bibb Latane
The test
3 scenarios:
alone in a room
with two other participants
with two confederates who pretended to be normal participants
They were sent to a room to fill out a questionnaire as smoke began to fill the room.
when alone - 75% reported the smoke
with two other participants - 38% reported the smoke
(the final scenario) the two confederates noted the smoke and then ignored it - resulted in only 10% reported the smoke
Diffusion of responsibility
Psychologists found through many studies that bystanders are less likely to intervene in emergency situations as the size of the group increases
people tend to assume someone else will step up to help
Similar Characteristics are also a factor
Thank you!
John Darley
Bibb Latane
Pluralistic Ignorance
When others are present, people look to them for guidance. As they see no one else doing anything to help, this causes the person to assume nothing needs to be done.
"Research has shown that people are more likely to help those they perceive to be similar to them, including others from their own racial or ethnic groups. In general, women tend to receive more help than men. But this varies according to appearance: More attractive and femininely dressed women tend to receive more help from passersby, perhaps because they fit the gender stereotype of the vulnerable female" (Keltner and Marsh)
Lord of the Flies
In chapter four, Piggy became upset that he wasn't given a piece of meat so Simon, the good hearted kid he is, gave his meat to Piggy. But when the other boys laugh at him he puts his head down in shame. Simon is put down when he knows he's done the right thing. But if he was alone he wouldn't have had a second thought about giving his meat to Piggy.
Lord of the Flies
In chapter 7 all the boys get together to recreate a "pig hunt" but really Roger is acting as the pig. "They got his arms and legs. Ralph carried away by a sudden thick excitement, grabbed Eric's spear and jabbed at Robert with it" (Golding 114). Now if Ralph had been alone, all his excitement would be close to none.
Works Cited
Keltner, and Marsh. Greater Good. The University of California, Berkely. 1 September. 2006. Web. 18 May. 2014.
Cherry, Kendra. Psychology. n.p. n.d. Web. 18 May. 2014.
"The Bystander Effect". Heroic Imagination Project. n.p. n.d. Web. 6 May. 2014
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