Piliavin, Rodin and Piliavin

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What was the background of this study?
Kitty Genovese - brutal murder outside her appartment block in New York. None of the 38 witnesses cotacted the police, even though the attack lasted over an hour.
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What year was the study conducted?
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To investigate factors affecting helping behaviour and especially the impcat of a model (who offers to help first) and also the size of the group and frequency of help.
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IV & DV?
IV = type of victim (drunk/ill), race of victim, model condition DV= helping behviour - frequency, sex and race of helper, time taken.
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Method, design, data?
Field experiment using participant observation. Indendent measure design. Both data types.
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approx. 4450 men and women travelling on a particular stretch of the New York underground system between 11am and 3pm on weekdays during the period of April 15th - June 26th.
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Outline the procedure (1)
2 trains selected as they did not stop for 7.5 minutes between 59th and 125th street. Team of 4 students (2m/2f) boarded train using different doors. 4 different teams, each varied location of experimental compartment from trial to trial.
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Outline the procedure (2)
Females = observers, sat outside critical area. Male model and victim remainded standing; victim always next to pole in critical area. 70 secs into journey, victim collapsed. He remained motionless on floor until receiving help.
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Outline the procedure (3)
If victim received no help by the time the train slowed to a stop, the model helped him to his feet and off the train. 6-8 trials run on any given day and all trials on one day used the same victim condition.
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Outline the procedure (4)
4 male victims all aged between 26 - 35, three were white and one was black. All identically dressed. Drunk condition = 38 trials = smelt of alchohol and carried bottle of alcohol in brown bag. Ill = 65 trials = appeared sober, carried black cane.
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What were the 4 different model conditions?
Critical area-early: waited until 4th station to help, 70secs after collapse. Critical area-late: waited until 6th station to help, 150secs after collapse. Adjacent area-early: waited until 4th station to help. Adjacent area-late: waited until 6th.
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What observations were noted?
1st observer: total no. of passengers who helped, their race, sex and location on train. Also noted the race, sex and location of every passenger on train. 2nd observer: time taken to help, using stopwatch. Comments made by nearby passengers.
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Outline the results
Cane victim recieved help on 62/65 trials, drunk victim only on 19/38 trials. Helpers, 90% male and 64% white. Quickest help came from largest group. More qualitative data on drunk condition, e.g "It's for men to help him".
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Strengths of the study
High EV, very large sample - representative of New Yorkers. Both data types - easy to analyse and in-depth.
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Weaknesses of the study
Field experiment - less control, travellers may have seen more than one incident, and harder to replicate. Only male victims used.
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1. No informed consent, covert observation. 2. Decieved 3. No debriefing 4. Possible psychological harm - feelings of guilt, distress and anxiety.
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Define: Altruism
The selfless concern for the welfare of others.
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Define: Pluralistic ignorance
The tendancy for people in a group to mislead each other about an emergency situation.
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Define: Diffusion of responsibility
The idea that people are less likelt to help someone if there are others present because they perceive the responsibility as being shared.
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What year was the study conducted?



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IV & DV?


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Method, design, data?


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