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Bystander effect

a case study of Latane and Darley's research into the bystander effect

Alex Payne

on 22 August 2011

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Transcript of Bystander effect

Latane and Darley's Bystander Effect This experiment was designed to investigate the bystander effect on people. Lanae and Darley believed that in larger groups, the subjects were less likely to act if they believed someone else could do it for them. The group of people being tested were university students grouped in either by themselves or in groups of three for the first experiment, the seccond had groups up to six. The Results showed that the larger the group was, the less likely people were to help. Introduction Latane and Darley tested the bystander effect in their studies. This effect is based on the theory of diffusion of responsibility, that the more people who are present during an emergancy situation, the less likely it is for help to be given. The two invited students to discuss a issues of university life by filling in a questionnaire. While they worked, smoke filled the room from the air vents for 6 minutes until the room was filled. The researchers tested whether or not the students would go for help if more people were present than when alone. Hypothesis: The students would be less likely to go for help when there were more people in the discussion, due to diffusion of responsibility. The second experiment conducted had four to six people in a discussion in seperate rooms with microphones. One of the people was an actor who pretended to have an epileptic fit. Darley and Latane wanted to see how many students would go for help. Aim: Independant and dependent variables. the independent variable in this experiment was the amount of people pressent in each of the interviews on each occasion. The dependant was the amount of people that actually went for help. Aim: References: http://www.psychwiki.com/wiki/Darley,_J._M.,_%26_Latan%C3%A9,_B._(1968)._Bystander_intervention_in_emergencies:_Diffusion_of_responsibility._Journal_of_Personality_and_Social_Psychology,_8,_377-383.

page 213-215 of Nelson Psychology VCE units 1 and 2

http://faculty.babson.edu/krollag/org_site/soc_psych/latane_bystand.html Method Participants The subjects where all university students of various genders
who were placed in different size groups using random sampling. Materials In the smoke room experiment, the subjects were placed in a room on chiars, with a smoke machine in the air vent to emmit smoke for 6 minutes until the room was filled with a smokey haze. the second experiment had cubicals set up for one person with microphones in each. Procedure: Experiment One Procedure: Experiment Two Students are invited to fill out a questionnaire

When they arrived the students were asked to sit in a room, either by themselves or in a gorup of four.

Smoke begins to fill the room.

Smoke filled the room until it was full for six minutes.

Record how many students go for help. Students placed in cubicles to have a discussion.

Students are told that they are in a group of two (themselves and one other), a group of four, or a group of six. All in their own cubicals with microphones.

One student tells the others that he is an epileptic.

The "epileptic" student makes choking and gasping noises, pretending to have an epileptic fit.

Record how many students went for help. Abstract Ethical Principles Deception was the main ethical principle involved.
the participants were not alloud to know the true
nature of the experiment otherwise the results could of been jeopardised. but debriefing needed to happen after the experiments where conducted. however during deception, the participants should not be exposed to psychological stress, such as that of hearing someone potentially be dying. Results Two People Four people six people Experiment one: Smoke Room Experiment two: Epileptic Fit In the smoke room experiment, the results show that if the participants were alone, 75% would go and get help after smoke filled the room. if there were more people in the room while the smoke filled the room, only 35% went to get help. In the second experiment with cubicles, when alone except for the 'epiletic', 85% of people went for help. When the participant thought that there was four people in total, 65% went for help, but when the participants beleived that there was six other people in the cubicles, only 35% were able to go for help. Discussion The hypothesis was accepted after the results had been studied. the results from both the smoke room experiment and the Epileptic fit experiment showed that the larger the group, the likelyhood of people going to get assistance was reduced significantly. This information is consistant with other reasearch into the bystander effect, and strengthens the argument that in larger groups, deminished responsibility can cause people not to act. Extranueous Variables: Two Possible extraneous variables in these two experiments could be the fact that different aspects came into play during the experiment other than just the feeling of deminished responsibility, such as the mood of the participants when they go into the study, or if the tst subjects feel incompotent and therefore doesnt wat to try and help in case of failure. Generalisation: In conclusion, the results show that when in large groups, a person is less likely to offer help to someone in need, or help in an emergancy situation, based on the belief that smeone else could do it. So if you decide to have a heart attack, it is better to have one in a street with almost no people than in a crowded city street, because no one will help you.
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