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  • Levine
    • Theory
      • Helping is a pro-social behaviour
      • Kin selection theory: performing behaviours that may favour the chance of survival of people with a similar genetic base 
      • Reciprocal altruism: the incentive for an individual to help is based on the expectation of the potential receipt in the future
      • Pro-social value orientation: a strong influence on helping behaviour is a feeling of one’s responsibility to help/belief that one is able to help 
      • Social exchange theory: people help because they want to gain goods from the one being helped (cost-benefit analysis)
      • Milgram said people in urban areas are less helpful than those in rural areas because they cope with stimulus overload Strangers, and their situations go unnoticed 
    • Background
      • Urban environments of 300,000 people or more and rural environments of 5,000 people or less were the worst places if one was looking for help
      • Collectivists attend more to the needs and goals of the group they belong to, and individualists focus on their own selves. Collectivists would be more likely to help in group members
      • Almost no systematic cross-cultural research of helping behaviour had been conducted prior to this study
      • The aim of this study was to look at helping behaviour in large cities globally in relation to four specific community variables (population size/economic well-being/cultural values/ individualism-collectivism or simpatia/ walking speed
      • This study had three main goals: to determine if a city’s tendency to offer help is stable across a wide range of cultures/to obtain a descriptive body of data on helping behaviour/to identify country-level variables that might relate to differences in helping
      • Three overlapping theoretical explanations for differences in helping were tested: economic explanations/cultural values/pace of life
    • Research Method
      • Cross-cultural quasi experiment with independent measures
      • The ps' were 23 large cities around the world including Rio de Janeiro and Kuala Lampur
      • IV: people in each city (naturally occurring)
      • There were 3 situations - dropped pen/hurt leg/blind
      • DV: helping rate (overall helping index)
    • Sample
      • 23 cities
      • Study was in main downtown areas/ business hours/on clear days/summer 1992- 1997
      • Individuals were: alone/older than 17/physically able/not carrying packages
      • People selected crossed an invisible pre-determined line
    • Conclusions
      • The helping of strangers is a cross-culturally meaningful characteristic
      • There are large cross-cultural variations in helping
      • Helping across cultures is inversely related to a country’s economic productivity
      • Simptia countries are more helpful
      • The link between economic health and helping is not a by-product of a fast pace of life
      • Collectivism-individualism is unrelated to helping behaviours
    • Results
      • No significant gender differences were found (but relatively equal numbers of male and female ps' were targeted
      • Overall Helping Index was calculated. The most helpful city was Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) with 93% and the least helpful city was Kuala Lampur (Malaysia) with 40%
      • The only statistically reliable relationship showed cities that were more helpful tended to have lower PPP
      • There was a small relationship that ps' in faster cities were somewhat less likely to help
      • More individualistic countries showed somewhat less overall helping/less helping in the hurt leg situation than collectivist countries
      • There is no relationship between population size and helping behaviour
      • Economic productivity, individualism-collectivism and walking speed were highly inter-correlated
      • Simpatia countries were more helpful
      • A city’s helping rate was relatively stable across all three measures
    • Procedure
      • Data was collected by students travelling abroad/home or by cross-cultural psychologists and their students
      • Experimenterwere college age/dressed neatly and casually/men (control for experimenter effects)
      • To standardise, all experimenters received instruction sheets/ training for acting and learning the procedure/ practised together/had no conversations
      • Blind person: Experimenterwas dressed in dark glasses/carry white cane pretending to need help getting across the street. Training was provided by the Fresno Friendship Centre for the Blind. They walked to the road just before the light turned green, held out their cane, and waited until someone offered help. A trial was terminated after 60s/light turns red. 281 trials were conducted. Helping was if ps' informed the experimenter that the light was green/helped them across
      • Dropped pen: experimenters walked towards ps', reached into his pocket and accidentally dropped his pen, in full view of the ps, and continued walking past. 214 men and 210 women were approached. Ps' "helped" if they shouted to the experimenter that he had dropped the pen and/or picked up the pen and brought it to the experimenter
      • Hurt leg: Walked with a heavy limp/wearing a leg brace, experimenters dropped a pile of magazines. 253 men and 240 women were approached. Helping was defined as offering to help and/or beginning to help without offering


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