Piliavin Study

Piliavin Study

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  • Aims: - to study bystander in a natural setting  - to investigate effect of: type of bystander, race of victim, behaviour of model and size of group of bystanders on helping behaviour or 'Good Samaritanism Hypotheses: Individuals would be... 1) more inclined to help person of their own race 2) more likely to help an ill or disabled victim 3) less inclined to help drunk since they could become disgusting, embarrassing and/or violent (cost-reward matrix).
  • le cripple
  • le drunk
  • The year is 1968.In a stuffy office room in the middle of New York City, Judith Rodin and Jane Piliavin discuss the murder of Kitty Genovese a young woman who was stabbed to death while 38 watched. They have the same question every New Yorker has on their mind: why didn't they say something? 
  • It was a just a regular monday for travelers on the New York City Subway, or so they thought... Little did they know they would  be taking part in one of the most poignant social studies of the decade (which was Naturalistic, a Structured Observation and used Event Sampling)
  • What? so this was a study the whole time!? so he's not even a cripple? i missed my interview for this let me at him! 
  • The four researchers prowled under the fluorescent lighting of the (critical part) subway carriage, waiting silently for their unsuspecting prey to climb aboard. In a matter of seconds (70 to be exact) their next victims will find themselves will be launched into internal conflict. To help, or not to help! that is the question
  • Conclusions: 1) ill victims receive more help than drunk ones 2) men are more likely to help than women (even when both are present). Cost-reward matrix? 3) same-race helping is more likely, especialy when drunk 4) no strong relatinship between no. of bystanders + speed of helping: no diff of responsibility 5) the longer emergency goes on without interference, less impact model will have on individuals to help
  • Alas! it has been 70 seconds. The cripples time has come (or so the victims think)
  • The bystanders rush to the cripples help (within an average of 5 seconds, 95% of the time) just as the researchers assumed they would. They have been foiled, once again!
  • After a total of 103 goes, the study is complete. Rhodin and Piliavin return to the same stuffy office room and write up their findings. In conclusion: don't get drunk on the New York City subway
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