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Discuss research related to bystander behaviour.

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Introduction

Discuss research related to bystander behaviour. When we talk about bystander behaviour we are considering a special case of helping behaviour. Latane and Darley (1970) came up with a model to explain why bystanders at emergencies do and sometimes do not offer help this was called the cognitive model. At each stage in the model the answer no results in no help being given while the answer yes leads the individual closer to offering help. They argued that helping responses maybe inhibited at any stage of the process. Here are the inhibitions described at each stage" Stage 1 the bystander may not notice the situation, stage 2 the situation may be ambiguous and not readily interpretable as an emergency, stage 3 the person may avoid taking responsibility by assuming someone else will, stage 4 should the person wish to take responsibility for helping g and finally in stage 5 competent people may not help in an emergency. They conducted a laboratory experiment with male college students to look at the effects of the presence of other on helping behaviour. Participants sat in individual booths connected by intercom; they believed they were taking part in a discussion on college. They conducted it in 3 conditions, in each condition there were a certain number of people present and as the conditions increased so did the people present. ...read more.

Middle

The greater the arousal in emergencies, the more likely it is that a bystander will help. Gaertner and Dovidio (1977) found a strong correlation between the speed at which participants responded to an 'emergency' in a laboratory, and their heart. Physiological arousal has also been shown to increase with the perceived severity and clarity of a victim's plight, this was demonstrated by Gerr and Jarmecky (1973). The 2nd stage, labeling arousal - physiological arousal does not automatically produce specific emotions. Our cognitions about that arousal play a critical role in determining the actual emotion that we feel. Seeing someone else in distress elicits two kinds of responses, personal distress and empathic concern. Piliavin believed that physiological arousal was more likely to be labeled by bystanders as personally distressing, especially if they did not have a close personal relationship with the person in need of help. The 3rd and final stage, evaluating the consequences of helping - Whether one helps or not depends on the outcome of weighing up both the costs and benefits of helping. The costs of helping may include example such as being in risk or harmed or the effort factor, it may be physically demanding. These factors are weighted against the benefits of helping such as social approval and self esteem. ...read more.

Conclusion

They watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks in Kew Gardens. Twice the sound of their voices and the sudden glow of their bedroom lights interrupted him and frightened him off. Each time he returned, sought her out and stabbed her again. Not one person telephoned the police during the assault; one witness called after the woman was dead. Witnesses were asked why they hadn't called the police straight away and a housewife said she didn't know and another was asked why they did not try help and she said she did not want her husband to get involved. So here we can see this demonstrates diffusion of responsibility as none of the 38 citizens phoned the police or helped as they all thought someone else would (the cognitive model). We can also see relation to the arousal model the 3rd stage because the wife did not want her husband getting involved because he may be at some type of risk. The two models give us a great explanation of bystander behaviour but not all situations can be explained using the two. They give us a good insight but cannot always explain certain people's behaviour for helping or not as some people may help for personal reasons like they may have been in the same situation sometime in their life but even so the models do major factors into account. Edd Brown ...read more.

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