piliavian- subway samaritan
is there such a thing as altruism?
the definition of altruism is when you do something for someone else without gaining anything for yourself. would people really do anything if it did not benefit themselves.
the murder of kitty genovesa and the altruism debate
in 1964 in america, kitty genovesa a 28 year old woman was murdered infront of 38 witnesses and no one helped. coming home from work at 3am, kitty was attacked for 35mins by a man with a knife. it was not until the third attack that he actually killed her.kitty had parked her car within 100m away from her home. after neighbours shouted out of their windows, the killer drove off but when they turned the lights off he came back and this time to kill her. no one intervened until one man told his neighbour to call the police after he had spoken to a friend in another country for advice. but by then it was too late.
there are numerous cases where bystanders do not intervene. latane and darley were inspired by this story and wanted to do some research as to why people did not help. their theory was that depending on the size of bystanders will effect how much help a person would get. they did an experiment with college students and got them to fill out a questionaire of urban life. when they were on their own or in groups of three, the researchers arranged for smoke to come out of the ventilation grille and secretly watched their behaviour for 6 minutes.
when they were alone 75% reported the smoke within the six-minute period and half of these reported this within the first two minutes.
but when in groups only 12% reported seeing the smoke and only 38% reported seeing the smoke within the six-minute period. which means 62% carried on working for the whole six minutes even though the room was full of smoke.
afterwards they explained that they had looked at each other for guidence but no one knew what to do and stayed where they were. so the regarded the situation as harmless. pluralistic ignorance was the word used to describe their actions or lack of it.
another would be diffusion of responsibility.the more people there are the less likley people are to help because the responsibility is shared amongst the people present.
darley and latane caried out another experiment with college girls and told them to talk about their person problems and experiences and did so by putting them each in cubicles so they could not see each other and therefore remained anonomus. at the beginin of the study the students were led to believe that they would be talking to either 5, 3 or 1 other students. they had two minutes to talk about their problem and then it would be another persons turn. except that there was only one person per group and the rest were pre-recorded tapes. one of the tapes…