Piliavin, Rodin and Piliavin

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AIMS: 

  • does diffusion of responsibility occur in real life? 
  • cost of intervention?

METHOD:

  • took place in 1968 - civil rights movement/martin luther king/suppression of blacks
  • field experiment/participant observation
  • IV = type of victim (ill or drunk) and race of victim (black or white), location of helper (critical +early 70s, adjacent + early 70s, critical + late 150s, adjacent + late 150s, no model intervention)
  • DV = speed/frequency of response and race of helper 

PARTICIPANTS:

  • quasi variable, people on train - 4450 approximately over whole study
  • 55% white, 45% black, 50/50 gender split
  • 4 teams of 4 researchers - 2 female observers, 1 male role model, 1 male victim (1 team had a black victim)

DESIGN:

  • independent groups

PROCEDURE:

  • Trains A + D, 7.5 minute journey, non-stop journey
  • Weekdays 11am - 3pm, 15th April till 26th June 1968
  • conducted 103 times
  • victim collapses after 70 seconds of journey, model intervened between 140 and 220 seconds
  • Ill victim dropped cane and fell forward, drunk victim dropped bottle/brown paper bag and fell forward
  • victims were all dressed indentically (smart/casual - no tie)

RESULTS:

  • mean no. of passengers = 43, 
  • 65 trials had ill victim, 38 had drunk victim (some students felt uncomfortable acting drunk)
  • spontaneous helps (before model) = 62/62 (Ill) 19/38 (Drunk)
  • Median speed of response was 5 seconds (Ill) 109 seconds (Drunk)
  • White victim - 64% of the…

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