Piliavin, Rodin, Piliavin

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  • Created on: 09-03-13 14:56
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Piliavin, Rodin, Piliavin (1969)
To investigate a situational explanation of a bystander behaviour; how features of an emergency
situation (race, state, number of bystanders and presence of model) influence helping behaviour.
Information on the experiment
This was a field-experiment.
The design was independent measures.
The sample was opportunity sampling.
4450 participants altogether
Men and women participated
Using a train between 11am and 3pm
Over a period of two months in 1968
Field experiment
On a New York subway
Seven and a half minute journey
103 trials carried out
Four teams of four people (two observers, victim, model)
Emergency staged 70 seconds into journey
Victim staggered forward and collapsed
Standardised procedure for example the victim always collapsed in the same way.
The victim in each team wore the same clothes.
Observers recorded unobtrusively.
After each trial, the confederates got on the train going in the opposite direction to avoid the
same passengers.

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Independent Variables
o Black victim
o White victim
o Drunk victim
o Ill victim
o Early model (critical/adjacent area)
o Late model (critical/adjacent area)
o Number of bystanders (varied between each journey)
Dependent Variable
The time taken for the first passenger to help.
The total number of passengers who helped.
The gender, race and location of each helper.
The time taken for the first passenger to offer help after the model had assisted .…read more

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Data Gathered
Data gathered was a mixture of quantitative and qualitative data.
The quantitve data included the number and type of passengers who helped as well as the time
taken to offer assistance.
The qualitative data came from the spontaneous comments made by the passengers.
o Piliavin et al conclude that their research supports a situational explanation of bystander
behaviour and they propose the Arousal: Cost-Reward Model; a heuristic device that can be
used to predict helping behaviour in emergency situations.…read more

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Trials White Black Victims
Cane Drunk Cane Drunk
No model 100% 100% 100% 73%
Number of trials run 54 11 8 11
Model trials 100% 77 - 67%
Number of trials run 3 13 0 3
Total number of trials 57 24 8 14
Of the first helpers 90% were males
Some tendency for same-race helping…read more


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