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Updated: 10/16/2019
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  • 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)
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