There 4 groups of 4. Each group consisted of 2 females and 2 males, the females were the observers who observed and recorded the results of the investigation. While both males were confederates, one was playing the victim and the other the assistant.
The aim of the study was to investigate factors affecting helping behaviour. These were: 1. The victims' race 2. Whether they were drunk or ill 3. The time taken for the first person to provide aid. 4. The race of the helper.
The man who played as the victim showed he was in need of assistance by having a walking stick (disabled) or smelled like alcohol. The confederate would walk down the street and suddenly collapse while facing upwards without any movement. There were a great number of people from different races and gender.
The victim with the disability received immediate help on 62 out of 65 trials. The other drunk victim received immediate help on 19 out of 38 trials.
Help was provided on 60% out of all the trials ran. Once one person provided help there were no differences in the number of people helping whether the victim was black or white, drunk or ill. The assistant' race didn't matter either.
For some reason, people who helped the victim who was drunk were usually of the same race.
An average was taken and results showed that 90% of the helpers were males; 64% of them which were white men (based on the distribution of people present at event).
The experimenters discussed that an emergency situation created emotional arousal in bystanders. They could be labelled as fear, disgust, sympathy, etc.
Ways in which the state of arousal can be increased: 1. Feeling empathy towards the victim 2. Being close to the emergency Ways in which the state of arousal can be reduced: 1. Getting away from the scene. 2. Getting help or helping the victim.
Possible reasons for bystanders not helping were: 1. Embarrassment or fear of committing an error 2. Diffused responsability 3. No assured reward after providing help