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Name of study: Good samaritanism: an underground phenomenon?

Author(s): Piliavin, Piliavin, Rodin

Approach: Social Approach
Background information (what theories/issues of previous research is the study based on?)
The behaviour of bystanders following the case of the brutal murder of Kitty Genovese in New York in 1964.
The murder attracted interest…

Page 2

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What research method was used?
Field Experiment

List the advantages and disadvantages of the method used?

Advantages Disadvantages
A main strength of the study has to be its high level of Less control of the environment so can't eliminate
ecological validity. The study was done in a true to life…

Page 3

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The four victims (one from each team) were males, aged between 26 and 35, three white, one black, all identically
dressed in Eisenhower jackets, old slacks and no tie.
On 38 trials the victims smelled of alcohol and carried a bottle of alcohol wrapped in a brown bag (drunk condition).…

Page 4

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The train: made sure it was 7.5 min train.

List the findings:

The frequency of helping behaviour was considerably higher than found in previous lab experiments.
An apparently ill person is more likely to receive help (62/65 ­ 95%) than one who appears drunk (19/38 ­ 50%)
and help is…

Page 5

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A person who is ill is more likely to be given aid Drunk: high (greater disgust). Drunk: low (less disapproval
than one who appears drunk. because victim to blame for own
Men are more likely to help than women Women: high (danger). Women: low (not a woman's

Page 6

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What evaluation issues relate to this study and why?
Must include:
Methodology: Field Experiment
Strength Weakness
High ecological validity because it was conducted in a real There is a lack of control so we can't establish cause and
life setting on a train. This means the results will be more…

Page 7

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Less time means may work out to be cheaper as less Only a glimpse of the participants which may lead to false
money needed because it isn't going to be replicated impressions.
many times.
Greater levels of precision in control and measurement. The participants may not be their true selves…

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26th. It is likely that The study could also 4450. This is a large of responsibility. This
the participants had take place between sample size and so is could be due to the
observed the larger timeframes e.g. fairly representative. participants only
incident more than 9am and 5pm to ensure…


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