• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline and evaluate two or more theories of bystander behaviour.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Outline and evaluate two or more theories of altruism and/or bystander behaviour. Within pro and anti-social behaviour, there is the idea of bystander behaviour. This refers to how people react in different situations. In times of need some people freeze, some act, some scream with fear, and these are all examples of bystander behaviour. There are a few theories as to why people will behave as they do when presented with different situations. When considering bystander behaviour, it is important to hold a particular view of altruism in mind-that people helping is, essentiality a selfish action, for example Aronson et al., 1997, "That was the very essence of selfishness. I should have had no peace of mind all day had I gone on and let that suffering old sow worrying over those pigs." (Please note this is an adaptation of the original research) The first such model was devised by Piliavin et al., 1981, and was called the bystander-calculus model, or cost/arousal model. It attempted to explain some of the psychological and cognitive factors involved in bystander behaviour. This model only applies to emergency situations. It states that, when faced with an emergency, a bystander goes through five stages. ...read more.

Middle

If they do not intervene, their empathy and therefore distress cannot be lowered. Personal costs are feelings of self-blame or lack of respect that could occur from not helping, and the possibility of these increase with severity of situation. This model says that the higher the reward and the lower the cost, the more likely the person to act. The bystander-calculus model is a good model for bystander behaviour, as it considers a wide range of factors. It combines physiological, psychological, emotional and rational factors to form a solid idea of why people act the way they do. Critics of this model say that it is "too mechanical", that the idea of a set order of events before a bystander acts is not correct, as it does not account for people who say they act without thinking, on the spot. It also does not allow for true altruism at all, stating that there is always some selfish motive involved. Piliavin later admitted this was wrong, saying "true altruism- acting with the goal of benefiting another- does exist and is part of human nature." Another model of bystander behaviour is Latane and Darley's cognitive model. ...read more.

Conclusion

These include diffusion of responsibility- if there are other bystanders present, one individual will not feel that the responsibility to act is solely upon them-, audience inhibition- fear of messing up in front of other people-, and social influence- the idea that an individual will conform to the majority, even in the case of an emergency when the majority stand and do nothing. In support of this model, there is a lot of wide-ranging research evidence, both experimental and real world, that support it. Also, findings related to different situations do not contradict this model, but rather refine it, ie bystanders with special expertise, eg a doctor, do not suffer audience inhibition. Critics have described it as being too reductionalist, trying to condense a large amount of complex ideas about human behaviour into five stages. Also, compared to the bystander-calculus model, it can be viewed as simplistic, not taking into account too many factors. Both models have their strong points, but both are fundamentally too reductionalist. It seems doubtful that human nature can be accurately predicted in models as such, there are too many variables and factors involved in different situations and individuals that have an effect. However, these models are useful to give us some idea as to human workings and may help predict how people will respond. Kyle Mohamed ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Social Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Summary

The writer has covered some major points and models for this particular subject and has gone into quite a lot of detail. The score for this essay could be improved with some better planning. It lacks a good introduction to the subject and the writing style is too complicated. A good start would be to define altruism and explain what is known as the bystander effect. The main body of the essay could then go on to introduce, discuss and criticise the two models. It would be best to start with the Latane and Darley model first and then go on to the bystander calculus model.

Score 3*

Marked by teacher Linda Penn 05/09/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Social Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Critically evaluate whether Milgrams research on obedience was ethical

    4 star(s)

    It is true that Milgram may not have been able to predict the original findings; however, in the repeated experiments, he would have been aware of the potential for the participants to be distressed. The debriefing process is an important part of psychological research or experiments, particularly when deception has taken place as it had in Milgram's studies.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The effect of the Level of Processing on the amount of information recalled

    4 star(s)

    NULL HYPOTHESIS: There will be no difference in the number of words recalled involving structural processing than words involving semantic processing. ALTERNATIVE HYPOTHESIS: More words using semantic processing will be recalled than those requiring structural processing. Method Design: A laboratory experiment was carried out.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Describe and assess the evidence that socialisation plays a major part in shaping human ...

    The case of the wolf children revealed that their behaviour was very similar to the wolves that had apparently raised them. They preferred raw meat, moved on all fours and lacked any form of speech. There is a more recent case described by O'Donnell where a 14 year old boy

  2. "Anti-Social Behaviour is caused by a person's family background"

    527 words Methodology My chosen research method is questionnaires, I think this is appropriate to my study, as I will need to reach a large number of people to accurately assess whether anti social behaviour is affected by family background, this can be done effectively with the use of questionnaires

  1. How well does the classic theory of deindividuation explain the behaviour of people in ...

    Zimbardo stated that soldiers felt deindividuated when separated from other soldiers, and when make identifiable in plain clothes felt anonymous. This supports Diener's (1980) theory, that deindividuation is an internal psychological state, as the soldier's recognised themselves as part

  2. Psychological Theories Of Crime

    This can lead to crime as they will not consider others when acting on their desires. This person will do what it takes to relieve the tension they are feeling and will not consider the repercussions of their actions. It is possible for a person to have an underdeveloped ego.

  1. A) Describe the contribution of a biological perspective to our ...

    They all affect the nervous system and activity levels at the synapses which is known to affect mood. Alcoholics tend to have lower levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in their central nervous system and alcohol temporarily increases these levels, which can cause risk taking behaviour, make the person more confident and also cause over anxiety.

  2. Outline and Evaluate Psychological Research into Minority Social Influence

    From this it was concluded that in order for minority social influence to be effective the smaller group must be consistent, and the members of the minority group must be in concurrence with each other. Inconsistent minorities have very little influence over majorities, as the variation makes their opinions appear unfounded.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work