This field experiment was taken out at a train station this was to investigate the bystander effect.
Piliavin et al (1969)
To investigate helping behavior in a natural environment and understand the conditions in which people are more likely to help.
almost 4500 passengers on the train were participants in this covert observation.
each group had two male actors and two female observers. One actor acted as the victim and the other was a model (pretend passenger)
four groups of four students from columbia university were used to run the trials to observe what would happen when the victim collapsed on the train.
This was know as the critical area.
Victim stands in the pathway. Model sits and after a while will help victim.
This experiment was do in different ways. first it was a drink who passed out. then a sober man carrying a cane also different races.
two female students entered the same carriage but at a different door and sat in the adjacent area to observe and record what passengers did
After the first stop the victim would stumble and collapse on the floor and the female observes would take note of who and how many participants where in the tarin of the critical and adjacent areas. their race,sex and who helped and how long it to for them to help.
over 103 trials were done. once the victim collapsed they were told to stare at the ceiling until assistance came. This varied as the model didn't always offer assistance other times they would offer help at the four station stop around 70 seconds after the incident or the sixth station stop around 105 seconds.
sometimes the model was in the critical area but others he was in the adjacent area.