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Outline and evaluate one or more explanation of bystander behaviour (24 marks)

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Introduction

Outline and evaluate one or more explanation of bystander behaviour (24 marks) Mark AO1 and AO2 Highlight good sentences One explanation of bystander behaviour is Latane and Darley's Cognitive Decision Model. They proposed that bystanders go through five stages of questions (e.g. 'Does the bystander notice the event?') when deciding whether or not to help, they must answer yes to all of these in order to take action. If any of these were answered no, for example 'Does the bystander assume personal responsibility?' then they will not give help. Social inhibitors also affect the answers to these stages. ...read more.

Middle

This may have been due to diffusion of responsibility, whereby the participants did not assume personal responsibility (stage 3). A drawback of this model is that it doesn't take into account emotional factors, such as fear or anxiety, because it suggests a rational process of decision-making. Therefore, it ignores other factors which may affect whether or not someone helps, including gut reactions. A second explanation of bystander behaviour is the Arousal: Cost-Reward Model (Piliavin). This suggests that emergencies are physiologically arousing (which is unpleasant), and if this is attributed to the person in distress, we seek to reduce it by helping them. ...read more.

Conclusion

If the cost of not helping is high, or the cost of helping is very low you are more likely to help. One study which supports this theory, is Clarke's cost of helping study. They found that students were most likely to agree to read to a blind student if they only had to travel a short distance (rather than a long one) and the student was preparing for an important exam. In this case, the cost of helping is low and the cost of not helping is high, as Piliavin's model suggests. Evidence supporting this model comes from Manstead et al, who found that people are aroused by the distress of others. Therefore the arousal part of this model is validated. ...read more.

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