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

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?

Extracts from this document...


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.

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

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. Pro and Anti Social Behaviour

    are so familiar with emergency situations that they treat them as everyday occurrences. This explains why they are less likely to attract interest and so people are less likely to help. Evaluation Korte et al's (1981) study has been criticised as it is limited to Turkey.

  2. Why Don't Bystanders Help? Diffusion of Responsibility or Social Norms?

    Her stabbing proceeded until her death, more than half an hour later. All the onlookers were watching from the safety of their own apartments, saw lights and figures in adjoining apartments, knowing others were also watching, yet nobody was willing to help, Rosenthal, (1964, cited in Latane` & Darley, 1968).

  1. Bystander behaviour - I am going to talk about bystander intervention (why some people ...

    When a single bystander is present in an emergency the pressure is only on him so he is more likely to help, unlike when a group of bystanders are there the pressure is shared so they watch each other's reactions before they decide to help, if they even do.

  2. Effect of category and hierachy on recall

    Suggestions for improving validity are, the experiment lacks ecological validity, as it is a laboratory experiment, if the experiment was conducted as a field experiment there will be higher ecological validity which could also lower the possibilities of experimenter expectancy and demand characteristics.

  1. Describe a Situation with the Potential for Prosocial Behaviour and Provide Explanations for why ...

    Another personal reason why an individual may help on a personal level is due to vicarious emotional reactions. If someone sees someone else who needs help it can cause feelings such as sympathy in the individual motivating them to help.

  2. Discuss Media Influences On Prosocial Behaviour.

    For example, in other parts of the world, children may only be exposed to antisocial behaviour in TV programmes and yet they still behave in a pro-social way. This, therefore, raises the question as to whether or not the media can actually have a positive effect on individuals who are

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