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What types of people are bystanders most likely to help? If you were going to try to increase prosocial helping behaviour, what are the four things you might try?

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According to John Darley and Bibb Latan�, what are the two primary mechanisms that may be responsible for the failure of bystanders to help during emergencies? Describe each of them. What types of people are bystanders most likely to help? If you were going to try to increase prosocial helping behaviour, what are the four things you might try? Modern concern with bystander behaviour began with the brutal rape and murder of Kitty Genovese in 1964, New York City: an act witnessed by thirty-eight of her neighbours, none of whom did so much as lift a telephone to alert authorities (Myers, 1999). More recently, the killing of 10 year old Damilola Taylor of North Peckham, ignored by those who passed as he bled to death . Incidents like these have led to studies of why we live in a 'walk on by' society. Two social psychologists Bibb Latan� and John Darley were intrigued by the failure of bystanders to intervene in the Kitty Genovese murder and began research on bystander response to emergencies. ...read more.


'Worthiness' of help, the seriousness of the situation, the victim's physical appearance, their race, how similar they are to the helper and their appearance are all influential factors. Piliavin et al., (1969) conducted a study in a railway carriage in which a 'victim' collapsed, sometimes carrying a cane and other times a liquor bottle. The victim with the cane received more help than the 'drunk' victim. Victims are more likely to be helped if they are seen as deserving causes, rather than the cause of their own misfortune (Bar-Tal, 1976). Can we increase helpfulness? Research points to a number of ways to increase prosocial helping behaviour. Firstly, people need to reduce ambiguity. If people are taught about Latan� and Darley's intervention model, how to interpret an incident and assume responsibility this could aid their involvement. Students who have heard lectures on bystander's inaction during an emergency, have been found more likely to help, in an emergency staged a few weeks later, than those students who did not hear the lecture (Myers, 1999). ...read more.


At different times these different category memberships, will be important to him. When any given social identity is salient, the person will act in terms of the beliefs, values and norms associated with the relevant category. They will also regard others and act towards others on the basis of whether they belong to the same category or not. We are defined as much through the acts and experiences of fellow category members as through our own acts and experiences. In the context of providing help, this would suggest that an understanding of how bystanders act depends, first of all, upon an analysis of how bystanders identify themselves, their relationships with other bystanders and with the victim. Secondly, it depends upon an analysis of the norms and values associated with the bystander identity. There are modern examples of 'heroes' on whom research could be conducted, and in telling these stories we would add to the cultural store of hopeful accounts, while coming to a better understanding of the psychological and social factors which make them possible. We are not born with the readiness to be helpful, but we are born with a predisposition to this state, which can be developed. ...read more.

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