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To Help or Not to Help

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Brianna Fragata

on 14 April 2014

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Transcript of To Help or Not to Help

Relevance/ Recent Applications
• Someone having a seizure does not have risk for a person as intervening when someone is being stabbed
• It needs to be recognized that these studies deal with extremely specific situations where people fail to help
• As the number of people the participants believed were part of the study increased, the percentage who reported the seizure while it was occurring decreased
• For those who eventually helped, the amount of delay increased when more bystanders were present
• Delay
Group 1- less than 1 minute
Group 3- over 3 minutes
• Total number of people who reported the seizure at all in the 4 minute period
Group 1- 100%
Group 2- 85%
Group 3- 60%

• All the participants experienced anxiety and signs of nervousness
• Social influence- when your behavior changes because of the presence of others
• As the number of people in the group increased, the participants felt less individual responsibility
• It was easier for groups 2 and 3 to assume someone else would help
• People also feel less potential guilt/ blame if they do not help with others present
• Evaluation apprehension- failing to help others for fear of embarrassment if the person did not need or want help

To Help or Not to Help

Latane & Darley's Model of Helping
• The people were anxious after hearing someone having a seizure
• To avoid ethical issues a murder like Kitty’s was not reenacted

Bystander intervention in emergencies: Diffusion of responsibility
By: Darley, J.M., & Latane, B.
Background Information
• In New York City in 1964, a young woman Kitty Genovese was attacked and stabbed walking into her apartment
• She yelled for help and one man told the attacker to leave her alone from the window
• The attacker started to leave but then came back and continued to stab her
• 38 people witnessed the attack and only 1 eventually called the police
• One couple assumed someone else had called the police
• The attack lasted 35 minutes and the police came only 2 minutes after they were called

Ethical Issues
Relevance to Class
• Bystander effect: the tendency for any given bystander to be less likely to give aid if other bystanders are present
• Diffusion of responsibility
• Prosocial behavior- behavior that produces positive social consequences
• Bystander intervention- the behavior of helping others in emergencies

Darley and Latane theorized that large amounts of people who witnessed the emergency decreased the willingness of one person to help
Why did no one help Kitty?
Diffusion of responsibility:
as the number of bystanders in an emergency increases, the more people believe that someone else will help so they do not have to
Cover Story
• Darley & Latane told students in an intro psychology class at NYU they would be involved in a study of how students adjust to university life in a competitive environment
• They were told to discuss their problems
• They were put in separate rooms and were talking over an intercom

Three Experimental Conditions
• Group 1 was told they were talking to 1 person
• Group 2 was told 2 others were on the intercom
• Group 3 was told 5 others were on the intercom
• The first person who talked mentioned how he had seizures
• In group 1 they then got to speak next
• In the other groups they heard 1 or more other students speak before they did
• Then they heard a recording of someone having a seizure

What was being tested:
• The percentage of participants in each group that helped the student
helping: leaving the cubicle/ notifying the experimenter
• The amount of time the participants waited to respond (they were given 4 minutes)

• Another experiment where the bystanders could speak to each other
• Students were sitting in room when smoke came through the vent
• People still do not take action for fear of being wrong and then being embarrassed
• In the 1st 2 minutes 55% of participants alone reported the smoke
• 12% of the other group did
• After 4 minutes, 75% of the participants alone acted, and no additional participants from the other group

• Experiment about combined personality of shyness and fear of negative evaluation with participants’ willingness to help
• Regardless of their personality, they helped the same amount with bystanders present
• Although those who scored high with shyness and fear of negative evaluation were less likely to help with no bystanders and equally likely or unlikely to help with other bystanders

• Another study including Darley showed that even imagining being in a group made people donate significantly less money to charity
• This shows that people are ready to assume less individual responsibility
Full transcript