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Psychology essay. Outline research evidence relating to bystander behaviour. Assess the effects of cultural differences on pro - social behaviour.

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Introduction

Psychology essay A. Outline research evidence relating to bystander behaviour. B. Assess the effects of cultural differences on pro - social behaviour. A. Bystander behaviour deals with the factors determining whether the bystanders or witnesses of an incident help a victim whom they don't know. Latanane and Darley carried out research into the influence of situational factors on helping bystander behaviour. Male college students were asked to sit in a waiting room, and fill in a questionnaire. The participants were either alone or in groups of three. Smoke was poured through a small opening in the wall and the participants reactions were watched for six minutes. The results found were that when people were on their own within two minutes 50% reported smoke and 75% reported it within six minutes. 62% carried on working for six minutes although the room was full of smoke. When the participants were in groups only 12% reported the smoke within two minutes and 385 within six minutes. The people who were working together claimed that they were looking at each other for guidance as to how to behave. ...read more.

Middle

Piliavin et al. (1969) conducted a study where a scene was staged in the New York subway, where a man appeared to collapse as the train pulled away from the station. In one condition, the man was carrying a can; in the other condition he was carrying a bottle. The percentage of people offering help within 10 seconds was noted. In the cane condition 95% of bystanders helped, compared to 50% in the 'bottle' condition. It can be concluded that judgements about the person needing help can affect whether or not help is given. Piliavin et al. (1981) introduced the Arousal: Cost - Reward model to explain how people in social situations weigh up the costs and benefits of behaving in a particular way. It suggests, people work through three stages when they come across a person in need: Firstly, PSYCHOLOGICAL AROUSAL - the primary motive is the need to reduce the arousal created by seeing someone in distress. Secondly, LABELLING THE AROUSAL - Personal distress or empathetic concern. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eisenberg and Mussen (1989) carried out across - cultural research into children's pro - social behaviour. The kind of behaviours studied included kindness, consideration for others and co - operation. The results showed, North American children were in general less kind than children who had grown up in Mexican villages. It can be concluded that children reared within a collectivist culture tend to show more social behaviour than those reared in an individualist culture. People in collectivist societies are likely to be more helpful than those in individualist societies, though this is not always the case. This distinction may be too broad to account for the cultural differences which have been found in helping behaviour. People are brought up differently in different cultures. They have different values that comply to the 'norm' of that particular culture, eg. Women need 'support' and 'help' and men are 'strong' and 'independent'. In other cultures women are expected to work for a living. In more European cultures women are expected to stay at home and look after the children. The expectations of a particular culture will influence whether a person helps another or not and whether they seek help. ...read more.

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