Classic Study in Social Psychology Essay example

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Pages: 5

Classic Study in Social Psychology
Erica Mariscal Vigil
Diana Wheatley

Classic Study in Social Psychology The bystander effect is associated with the phenomenon, which states that when a larger amount of people are present, the less likely people are to help a person in need of assistance. When an emergency occurs, people are more likely to help when there are little or no other people. A summary about this study as well as an explanation of the results and how the concept of situationism relates to the study will be discussed.
The Bystander Effect In 1964 the murder case of Kitty Genovese, a woman who was stabbed 38 times while bystanders watched and did nothing to help, caught the attention of
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Among those who eventually helped, the amount of delay in helping was greater when more bystanders were present.” (p 2) The average delay in responding was less than one minute for group 1, whereas it was over three minutes for group 3. “Finally, the total number of subjects who reported the seizures at all, either during or after it occurred, varied among the groups in a similar way. All of the subjects in group 1 reported the emergency, but only 85% of group 2 and 60% of group 3 did so at any time during the four-minute period” (Darley and Latane, 1968. p 2)
The Oxford Dictionary defines Situationism as, “The theory that human behavior is determined by surrounding circumstances rather than by personal qualities.” Situationism is basically the way people behave in the type of situation they are in. In the study of the bystander effect, “ the likelihood of intervention inversely correlates with the number of people who are part of that situation. In other words, the larger the number of people present, the less likely it is that any of these individuals will help” (The Philosophers Magazine, 2013). Research such as these in social psychology; suggest that situations have a big impact on how we act. What is more interesting is that research suggests that we are not aware of the impact that environmental factors have on us, if in fact we are even aware of these situational aspects. (The Philosophers