Piliavin Study 1969

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What is Samaritanism and altruism?
Samaritanism- doing a good deed and altruism is doing a good deed with no benefit to you
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What was the prompt to this study?
The Kitty Genovese case of 1964
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What happened to Kitty Genovese?
She was murdered in NYC, and many people heard her screams, many lights went on, and a man screamed out his window, 1 person called the police but it was too late NOBODY ELSE HELPED
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What are some reasons as to why nobody helped?
Didnt want to get involved, didnt want to hurt themselves, wanted to mind their own business, waiting for someone else to help before they do (everyone thinking the same so no one acts) or thought someone else would help
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What is a bystander?
Believes someone else will help, so they do not
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What is diffusion of responsibility?
When you are involved in a group, so the responsibility is spread out, so you as an individual is less repsonsible
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What was the Darely and Lantane case?
Wanted to find out what situations make people less likely to be altruistic- PP hear someone having an apoplectic fit, and them a group hear the same, results show person on own is more likely to help than if in a group
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Why did Piliavin question the Darely and Lantane case?
Questioned lack of realism and he thought it lacked ecological validity
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Why did Piliavin want to conduct a experiment?
He wanted to conduct an experiment which was true to real life,
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What was the aim of the study?
To investigate if 'diffusion of responsibility' applied in all situations, and what factors influence helping behaviour? E.g race, ages, gender, sixe of
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What was the method of this study?
It was a field experiment, but used PP observation.
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What was the location of the study?
This study took place on A and D trains of the 8th avenue in NYC. They were selected as they make no stops for 71/2 minutes.
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What type of sample was this study?
An opportunity sample
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How many PP's took part in this sample?
Around 4450 unsolicited PP'S who were both men and women who used the trains
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When did this study take place and for how long?
Took place from 11am-3pm on a weekday, from 15 April-26 June
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How many trials took place?
103 trials took place
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In a percentage how many of the PP's who used the train was black and white?
45% black and 55% white
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What was the critical area?
It was at the end of the carriage were the doors to the next carriage were. There were 13 seats and some standing room in this area.
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What was the mean number of PP's who were in the critical area when the study took place?
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What was the IV on this study?
the type of victim (drunk/cane) the race of victim (black or white) the presence or a model (early or late) the number of bystanders present (varied naturally)
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What was the DV of this study?
The time taken for the first passenger to offer help, the total number of passengers which helped, the gender, race and location of helper, time taken for the first passenger to offer help after the model had assisted
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How many students took place in this study?
16 students, which was split into four teams
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How was the teams set up?
The teams consisted of 2 males, and 2 females, 1 would play the role of the victim
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What did the females do in this study?
They observed and recorded data, while the males played the roles of the victim and the models
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What was the Victim like in each team?
There was 3 white victims, and 1 black victim, all were male, ages 26-35. Each wore jackets, old trousers and no tie
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What were the models like in the study?
The four models were were ages between 24-29, they wore identical clothes although they were not dressed identically
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What happened during the study?
Team boarded the train separately but in the same area, the two female Confederates took a seat outside the critical area and recorded data. The victim stood next a pole within the center of the critical area and model sat/stood in critical area
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How long does the victim wait until he collapses on the floor?
Victims waits till he reaches the first station (approx 70 seconds) and he lays on floor until he receives help
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When does the model step in to the victim?
If victim has recieved no help by time train has slowed to stop model would help him to his feet, so he can get off so they can repeat study again (depends on condition-early/late)
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How many times did they do the different conditions of the drunk and cane victim?
Drunk victim was done 38 trials (victim smelt of alcohol, and had a brown bag) The cane victim was done 65 trails (victim appeared sober and carried a black cane)
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What is the different early and late models do?
Early model- waited until passing the fourth station (approx 70 seconds) before helping. The late model- waited until the sixth station (approx 150 seconds) before helping
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Was this the same produce for the model who was in the adjacent area?
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What did observe one do?
Observer 1- noted race, sex, location of every passenger in the critcal area, she also noted the total number of people in carriage and the total of people who helped.
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What did the second observed do?
2nd observer noted race, sex, and location of people in adjacent area, and time taken for people to help once model had
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What were the findings the different victims?
The ill victim was more likely to receive aid than one who appeared to be drunk. Cane victim received spontaneous help 95% of the time, whereas it was only 50% of the time for the drunk victim uh
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What was the differences between the different genders who helped?
Spontaneous first helpers was 90% were male
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What was the difference between the races who helped?
There was tendency for same- race helping to be more frequent. This increased when the victim was drunk compared to ill.
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What were some of the spontaneous comments made?
More comments made in the drunk trials than the cane trails. Most comments were obtained in trails in which no one helped until after seconds- discomfort of observers felt in sitting inactive in the presence of victim may have led them to make them
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What did Piliavin conclude?
Suggested a situational explanation of bystanders had been supported
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What did they say was the reward for people helping?
Emotional Arousal- in an emergency people experience nervous arousal, so help to make themselves feel better
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What did the conclude about the drunk victim?
People are less likely to help as they feel it is the mans own fault
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What did the say about diffusion of responsibility?
Said it is not found in cane victim as cost of not helping is very high
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What are the strengths of the method used?
High ecological validity (field exper) PP's did not know taking part in study (real behaviour),had control of study e.g victim falls in same way
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What are the weaknesses of the method used?
Field exper- lack of control, not possible to control what passengers board train could of seen it before,ethics, PP's didnt give consent, not able to be debriefed, some stressed POP, uneven number of trails
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How representative is the sample?
Around 4450 PP's using particular train (45% black, 55% white) seems fairly representative. However, restricted to certain types of people (people using that train, at that time- similar personalities)
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What sort of data was collected?
Quantitative data- numbers of people, how long it took to help. Qualitative data- spontaneous comments made
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What was the prompt to this study?


The Kitty Genovese case of 1964

Card 3


What happened to Kitty Genovese?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What are some reasons as to why nobody helped?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What is a bystander?


Preview of the front of card 5
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