piliavin et al subway experiment

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  • the experiment was conducted over three months in 1969 on the New York express subway on 8th avenue as its a 7 and a half minutes stop during weekdays from 3 till 11.
  • It was conducted by two observers that were women, a victim that was white and one black, and sometimes a "model" that would help after 70 and 150 seconds.
  • After 103 tests, 64 ill and 39 drunk tests, results showed that people helped ill victims more, drunk people would get more help from their own ethnicity, people were more likely to help with more people and women were more likely to diffuse responsibility.
  • the victims on different tests were either drunk or ill. to make them seem drunk they'd have a paper bag with a bottle and smell of alcohol and ill a walking stick. and they both wore the same clothes, an Eisenhour jacket
  • 70 seconds into the journey, the victim would stumble forward and collapse. Sometimes the model would help, sometimes he wouldn't. results show model had no effect on participants behaviour.
  • the two females would record any comments made and also amount and ethnicities of people and who helped from the adjacent area.
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