Piliavin experiment

Piliavin experiment

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  • From the 15th April to the 26th June, the experiment was carried out every weekday at 11 am to 3 pm. it took place on the 8th Avenue Independant Subway, using the A and D trains as they had no stops between 59th street and 125th street. this meant that they had about 7.5 minutes to do the experiment.
  • Each team consisted of 4 people: 1 victim, 1 model and 2 observers. There were 2 types of victim, drunk or ill. the experiment was conducted 103 times. 38 drunk, 65 ill. There were more ill due to people not liking acting drunk.
  • The train was split into two sections. The critical area and the adjacent area. The victim always collapsed in the critical area and remained lying on the floor until help was given. The model would help after 70 or 150 seconds and could come from either area of the train carriage.
  • When the model helped, they would sit the victim upright and stay with them until the end of the trial. the model was always a white male, aged 24-29 and they wore informal clothes and they weren't all dressed identically.
  • The observers would watch and record the trial. One of them would record the time it took for other passengers to help, and note the race, sex and location of everyone in the adjacent area. the other would note the race, sex and location of everyone in the critical area and would also count the number of people who helped. both recorded comments made by passengers.
  • The trial had finished when the train reached the stop after the 7.5 minutes. The trial would also be recorded on the train going in the other direction. this would most likely be done by another team of 4 students.
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