Pivilian et al

Pivilian et al
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  • Kitty Genovese was returning from work in the early hours, and she was being followed by an attacker, Winston Mosely.
  • The killer stabbed Kitty 4 times. When Kitty screamed loudly, it was estimated by police 38 people became eye or ear witnesses, yet only one man attempted to warn off the attacker by yelling.
  • Psychologists Jane and Irving Pilavin as well as Judith Rodin were shocked by the bystander apathy displayed in this murder.
  • Aim: To study bystanders' behaviour in a natural setting. They also wanted to investigate the effect of 4 situational variables on helping behaviour or 'good samaritanism'. 
  • Team of 4 Columbia General Studies students position themselves in specific locations at different doors on the subway.
  • One victim was black and the other 3 were white between the ages of 26 and 35. On the first 38 trials all smelled of liquor and carried a liquor bottle wrapped tightly in a brown bag (drunk condition). The other 65 trails they appeared sober and walked with a cane (cane condition). 
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