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Pro and anti social behaviour

Helping behaviour (e.g. where behaviour brings a risk to the helper). Based on a desire to help
rather than on possible rewards. It could be based on empathy ­ the ability to share the emotions
of another person

Bystander Apathy
Not helping when help…

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This is based on the thought that children develop altruistic behaviour by modelling themselves on
observed behaviour, therefore they learn the behaviour. Through vicarious conditioning
(observation/reinforcement) a child learns altruism through being rewarded or watching a role model.
Case Study: Rushton (1975)
Found children who practised altruistic behaviour were more…

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Those low in empathic joy were more interested in learning about their altruistic acts

Negativestate relief model

A person who feels empathy for a victim usually feels sad as a result so they may want to help the victim in
order to reduce their own sadness. Therefore helping behaviour should…

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All answered police question in the days following the murder and seemed shocked that they hadn't done

The bystander effect/apathy/intervention/Genovese syndrome
The phenomenon in which someone is less likely to react in an emergency situation when other people are
around and able to help then when they are alone.…

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Low mundane realism
Well controlled variables
Supports theory of bystander effect

Fear of social blunder ­ People may not help because they do not want to embarrass themselves or make a
fool of themselves in front of others.
Case Study:
Shortland and Straw (1976) and Pantin and Carver (1982)

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Bystanders are usually most likely to help a victim if they are perceived similar to themselves. However, the
differences (e.g. race) can be disregarded by the demands of the situation.
Case Study:
Gaertner and Dovidio (1977)
White participants heard a victim in the next room apparently being struck by a…

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Evaluation: Strengths :
­ Has experimental support
­ Assumes there are several reasons why bystanders do not lend assistance
­ Gives a plausible explanation of why bystanders fail to help a victim (if bystanders respond to a
question with a no)
­ Can be useful in explaining why bystander apathy…


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