Piliavin's Aim was to research bystander behaviour in a natural setting. the effect of four situational variables on helping behaviour of good Samaritanism: - type of victim -race of victim -behaviour of a model - size of bystander group
Opportunistic sample, they took whoever was on the trains at the time of the study.4,450 men and women who travelled on the 8th Avenue line in NYC, weekdays 11:00 A.M. and 3:00pm, April 15 - June 26, 1968. 45% black and 55% white. Students from Columbia university (NY): 4 male victims (3 white, 1 black, aged 26-35); 4 male models (all white, aged 24-29) and 8 female observers. Androcentric as all male victims. Should be 50%-50% black and white to fit the mean of the train carts. Experimenters divided into 4 groups of 1 victim, 1 model and 2 observers.
4 observers in different locations on the subway. Train leaves the station. 70 seconds later, victim staggers forward, collapses and lies on the floor, looking at up. If no-one helps, model intervenes with one of 4 conditions: Critical early, Critical late, Adjacent early, Adjacent late. Observer 1 records: sex, race and location of passengers, total number of people and helpers. Observer 2 records: sex, race and location of passengers, time of first helper’s arrival after fallen and time after the model presented. *Both observers record comments. If no-one helps, model helps victim to his feet. At the next station the team of 4 gets off the subway. Then repeats the procedure on a train going in the opposite direction. 6-8 trials completed each day and all trials on a given day were in the same victim condition.
The victim with the cane received spontaneous help (before the model) on 62 of 65 trials – model only helped on 3 occasions. Surprise as expected no-one would help but majority did.Drunk victim received spontaneous help on 19/38 trials. Big difference half the time got helped spontaneously Median helping time for cane victim = 5 seconds, for the drunken victims = 109 seconds. Big difference (cost-reward)