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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 1827

The tragic story of Kitty Genovese, the young New Yorker, who was murdered in 1964, encouraged psychologists to investigate helping behaviour and altruism.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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Pyschology Coursework

 Helping Behaviour

Contents

Background Research

The tragic story of Kitty Genovese, the young New Yorker, who was murdered in 1964, encouraged psychologists to investigate helping behaviour and altruism. Many witnesses heard or observed the ordeal, which lasted for more than half hour, yet not even one of them attempted to intervene and save the woman’s life let alone contact the police. Psychologists were baffled by this incident.

In 1969, Piliavin et al conducted an experiment regarding helping behaviour received by different types of victims by having models collapse in subway trains under three different conditions, these being a drunken, lame and injured model. Additionally, the race of the model was manipulated.

When the model had:

  • A walking cane, help occurred quickly and more frequently
  • A bottle and smelt of alcohol, help occurred slowly and less frequently
  • Fake blood dribbling from their mouth, help occurred frequently.
  • The same coloured skin as the bystanders around them, more help was offered.

It discovered was that the appearance and type of victim significantly affected the type of help received.  The investigation demonstrated that bystanders tended to help people who are more similar to them, for example, a non-drunk person who is of the same race as them. How about gender?

...read more.

Middle

High St North

4

4

4

3

High St North

6

6

6

4

High St North

5

4

4

3

High St North

8

3

3

2

Market Area

2

6

1

5

Market Area

3

6

2

4

Market Area

4

3

1

2

Market Area

2

3

1

2

Quadrant

4

4

1

3

Quadrant

10

3

1

2

Quadrant

-

3

0

3

Quadrant

6

2

1

1

Car park

-

4

2

2

Car park

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1

0

1

Number of people who helped: 13

Number of people who didn’t help: 39

Number of situations in which people helped the model: 11

Total number of scenarios: 14

Quickest time that help was provided: 2 seconds

Longest time before help was provided: 10 seconds

Average response time: 4.9 seconds

Female confederate is helped 11/14 times

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Graphs illustrating the results found using the female model along High Street North, Market Area and a Shopping Centre in Dunstable, Bedfordshire.

image08.pngimage09.pngimage10.png

Results Table- Raw Data

Male Model Victim

Location

Time till 1st

...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore can I be sure that my results are reliable?

Evaluation        

  • The model victims used in the experiment were white, students both from Dunstable. The findings from the experiment is not representative of the whole population since… unlike pigaet who used diff coloured persons
  • The experiment took place in different areas of Dunstable, a small town, bystanders may have seen the student from beforehand carrying out the same procedure…may not have helped
  • The experiment took place during one summer afternoon…is this representative of what occurs at other times? The sample- opportunistic- not representative
  • Ethical issues: consent, debriefing, protection of participants
  • Picking up dropped items- can’t generalise to other situations where help is required- e.g. asking someone for the time or as in kitty genovese- protection against a murderer.
  • Good ecological validity
  • In order to check the reliability- would be good to repeat this investigation

Further Investigations of interest

Effect of race on whether not help is received

Other situations where help is needed, e.g., asking for the time, and whether or not bystanders would intervene in a stimulated attack, however the ethical issues involved with this would need to be thoroughly considered.

References:

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...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Height and Weight of Pupils and other Mayfield High School investigations section.

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