Piliavin 1969

This is a breif summary on the pilivain study on the subway samaritan 

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Subway Samaritan
· Kitty Genovese murdered and no-one helped even though lasted for
over half and hour
· Other bystander experiments where in labs so less ecological validity
· To see if an ill person would receive more help than a drunk person
· To see if the race of a victim led to same race helping
· To see whether intervention of a model would influence others' helping
· Effect of group size on
helping behaviour
· Aprox 4450 men and
· Race
45% black
55% white
· Field study
· Travelling through Harlem to the Bronx at 11am and 3pm (av. at a time
was 43 and 8.5 in critical area)
· 16 university students
· 4 teams of 4 researchers (confederates)
1 victim either " drunk condition" or "ill condition" (1/4 black)
Collapsed 70 after boarding the train
Model (man) 3 conditions= none/early (70 sec)/late (150 sec)
2 female observers race/ sex/ time helped
Recorded comments from nearby passengers
· Controls
Same position of pole
Same outfit
Same time of day 11-3pm
· Conditions
"Drunk" victim
38 trials
Smelt of alcohol and carried a brown bag with a bottle
"Cane" victim
65 trails
Sober and carried a cane
· Number of observations recorded
· Cane victim

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Subway Samaritan
Spontaneously 95%
(5 second average)
· Drunk
Spontaneous 50%
(109 average)
· 90% of the first helpers were male
· 20% of trials 34 people left Critical area
· More passengers in critical area more likely to be given help
· Reponses time slower with more people present contradicts
bystander affect
· No diffusion of responsibility
· Drunks get less help than ill
· Male victim men more likely to help
· Same race helping happens more in drunk condition
·…read more


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