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Piliavin Subway Samaritan

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amie smith

on 6 June 2018

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Transcript of Piliavin Subway Samaritan

Piliavin, Rodin & Piliavin
Altruism - An act which benefits others but not the person performing it.
Piliavin, Rodin & Piliavin
Independent Variables
Type of Victim (drunk/cane)
Does it exist?
Crime Scene
Murder of Kitty Genovese
Stabbed to death
Died March 13 1964
38 witnesses
What factors would influence you helping a stranger?
1. Notice the event
2. Nature of the potential helper
3. Cost of helping - social exchange theory
4. Nature of the victim
5. Nature of the situation
Latane & Darely (1968)
Lab experiment
smoke through vents
Alone = 75% reported smoke with 6mins
Group of 3 = 62% didn't report smoke
suggests that
people can mislead each other
into thinking it is not an emergency
Latane & Darley
Lab experiment
Epileptic fit
Alone = 85% within 60s
1 other = 62% within 60s
4 others = 31% within 60s
If others are present at the scene
then we are less likely to help.
Diffusion of Responsibility
Pluralistic Ignorance
PIuralistic Ignorance & Diffusion of Responsibility both suggest that the presence of others inhibit helping behaviour.
Most research on helping behaviour has been conducted in labs. Piliavin wanted to investigate diffusion of responsibility in real life conditions. He also wanted to see whether models influence helping behaviour, buliding on Bryan & Test
To investigate the effect of type and race of victim, on the speed and frequency of the helping response.

Field experiment - Participant observation
NY subway train
7.5 mins train journey
11am to 3pm
16 Columbia general studies students
Divided into teams of 4
2 males & 2 females in each team
Males = 1 victim & 1 model
Females = observers x2
Victims = Cane (ill) victim was carrying a black cane, grabbed his chest and fell to the floor. Drunk victim was holding a brown bag and reeked of booze (one victim was black)
collaspe after 70 secs -
observers recorded behaviour
Race of the victim (black or white)
Model conditions
Early Model (70ses)
Late Model (150secs) or no model condition
Number of people on the train (Naturally occurring)
Dependent Variables
Number of helpers
Race of helpers
Movement made out of critical area
Verbal comments made by bystanders
45% black
55% white
Av. no. in carriage 43
Av. in critical 8
90% of the first helpers were males
100% helped cane victim
Cane victim received spontaneous help 95% of the time i.e. help before 70secs
81% help for drunk victim
Drunk received spontaneous help 50% of the time
Cane victim therefore received more help
Cane victim helped the quickest
Mean times for help
Cane = 5secs
Drunk = 109secs
Men more likely to help
"it is for men to help"
"i wish i could help, but I'm not strong enough"
the more people present the more likely people where to help
no evidence of diffusion of responsibility
The "Arousal: Cost - Reward" Model
1. Emergency situation creates an emotional sense of arousal
2. Can be interpreted as fear, sympathy,etc
3. Arousal is heightened by
- Empathy with victim
- proximity to victim
- Length of time
4. Arousal reduced by
- Helping
- Getting help
- Leaving
- Rationalising why you can't help

5. Action is determined by a cost-reward matrix
Speed of helpers
Sex of helpers
Over 200 trials were carried out
across the whole study. There were
more cane trials compared to drunk as some of the victims 'didn't
like playing drunk!'
There was a slight tendency for same race helping, especially in the drunk condition
Evaluation of Piliavin
Evaluate Piliavin using GRAVEL SQAUNDERS. Bullet point the structure Point, Evidence, Explain, Extend
Important questions
1. How does Piliavin relate to the social approach?
2. How does Piliavin relate to cultural, individual and social diversity?
3. What is the new conclusion/understanding of
behaviour as highlighted by Piliavin?
4. How does Piliavin relate to the debates?
Bryan and Test (1967)
They showed that individuals are more likely to be good Samaritans if they have just observed another individual performing a helpful act.
What would you do?
Read the scenarios and decide how you would behave in those situations and give reasons why
Av. over 4500 traveled
Verbal comments made by helpers
Section A:

Suggest one weakness of the way data was recorded in this study. [2]
Describe the different roles played by the victim. (4)
In the subway Samaritan study by Piliavin, Rodin and Piliavin the victims were dressed identically as a control. Explain how one other control was used in this study. [2]
Outline two practical problems that may have occurred in the subway study by Piliavin, Rodin and Piliavin (4)

Section B:
Explain how Piliavin can be considered to be located within the area of social psychology. (5)
Suggest one weakness of the social area of psychology. Use evidence from Piliavin to support your answer (3)
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