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Discuss research evidence relating to Human Altruism and/or bystander behaviour When studying the explanations of bystander behaviour, Latane and Darley

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Discuss research evidence relating to Human Altruism and/or bystander behaviour When studying the explanations of bystander behaviour, Latane and Darley (1970) formulated the decision model, which is a five stage model to explain why bystanders at emergencies sometimes do and sometimes do not offer help. Before bystanders intervene, they go through a series of stages. At first, they must notice the situation, then they must interpret as to whether or not it is an emergency, they must then decide to accept some personality and then consider what the best form of intervention is. Lastly, at stage five, they must decide how to implement their intervention. At each stage of this model, observers may make a decision that inhibits helping. Latane and Darley identified two distinct psychological processes that might explain the social inhibition effect. If one emergency is witnessed by more than one person, the less the personal responsibility there is for one individual bystander. ...read more.


found that bystanders who stood face-to-face with other bystanders were more likely to help in an emergency than those who stood back to back. They concluded that the effects of pluralistic were stronger when in the back-to-back condition as bystanders were unable to see each others facial expressions, so were deprived of important interpretative cues. Secondly, the arousal: cost-reward model by Piliavin et al (1981) suggests that when people come across someone in need, they work their way through various stages before they respond or walk away. The first requirement is for the bystander to experience physiological arousal. When we see someone in distress, we become physiologically aroused. This arousal is unpleasant so we are motivated to reduce it. The greater the arousal, the more likely it is that a bystander will help. When people are in a state of personal distress, they are motivated to do something about it, but first costs and benefits have to be calculated. This means weighing up the costs of helping against the costs of not helping. ...read more.


The likelihood of students agreeing to help was higher when their costs were low and the costs of not helping were high. Helpfulness was much lower in all other conditions. Many studies of bystander behaviour suffer from the same problems as studies of Altruism- they use studies of psychology students as participants, and some of the experimental set-ups may lack believability. There have, however, been a number of field experiments of bystander behaviour and such experiments have their pros and cons. The behaviour studied is real-life behaviour, and since participants are not aware of participating in an experiment, they do not change their behaviour in response to experimental cues. On the downside, it is more difficult to control extraneous variables. Moreover, field studies have also shown that people who are not in a laboratory tend to behave differently, which means that many of the laboratory findings reported may well lack ecological validity. ?? ?? ?? ?? Zara Aslam Psychology A-level Essay- Pro and Anti-Social Behaviour 1 ...read more.

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