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1. Core Studies Revision Notes Approach: ____________________________ Study title: Piliavin et al. (1969) One Background point: Kitty Genovese stabbed to death in new…
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  • 1. Core Studies Revision Notes Approach: ____________________________ Study title: Piliavin et al. (1969) One Background point: Kitty Genovese stabbed to death in new york 1964. reportedly several witnesses of the incident but exaggerated. Still raised the issue of bystander behaviour and the concept of diffusion of responsibility (Darley and Latane 1968) Study aim: what variables affect helping behaviour (victim responsibility, race of victim, modelling (observe and imitate), effect of group size. Hypothesis: Not a hypothesis but wanted to create a heuristic (device) to predict conditions when a person will help Variables: Drunk/Ill (responsibility), black/white (race), early, late, no help (modelling), group size (quasi) Method: Field experiment with a quasi I.V. If experiment, what design: between subjects design (Planned) Sample method: Opportunity sample (anyone on the subway between 11 and 3) Sample details: 4 500 participants, average 43 in the carriage, 8.5 in the critical area, 55/45 white/black, New York Americans men and women. How was the study conducted? Situation: train journey takes 7.5 mins, drunk condition had bottle in brown bag and smell of booze/ ill condition had black cane. Task: 70 seconds into journey victim collapses, finishing lying on their back. In model conditions victim helped by model helped either after 70 seconds or 150 seconds. Experiment finishes when the train stops. Experimenter: 4 teams; 2 female observers 1 male model, 1 male victim. Victim was 26 – 35 one was black. Observers record People on train, Time first help occurred, number of helpers and details. What controls (e.g. double blind) Blind study (demand characteristics) Standardised procedure (same experiment length, same task, same recordings) Partially controlled situation variables (same times 11-3, same route, same tram) Findings/Results: Quant results: 95% help cane victim, 50% drunk victim, slight racial preference, 90% first help was male. Group size increased help (contradicts Darley and Latane). If trails with model ignored 100% helped the sober victim, 86% the drunk victim. Only model not helped was the black victim. If a model was used on 17% helped the drunk victim before, 87% cane victim Qualitative: comments of participants checked to ensure that the victim collapse was believable. Researcher’s conclusions: 1. emergency creates arousal in bystanders. Interpreted differently depending on situational cues (schacter 1964); arousal increased by empathy and proximity, reduced by helping, getting help or leaving. 2. Response is based on cognitive cost/ reward process. Help gives praise but may cause embarrassment, effort. Not helping allows you to carry on with what you are doing but may cause guilt due to social desirability.
  • 2. Evaluation Points (state whether a strength or weakness because….) How useful is the research: gives psychologists a predictor (heuristic) when we should expect helping behaviour to occur and when not. Useful in public emergency situations (terrorist attack, car accident) Internal Validity (method): + controlled extraneous variables (demand characteristics, standard procedure, situation) - Participant variables not controlled (may not be objective comparisons) Ecological Validity: + situation was real and therefore believable. (new york subway) - task may not be realistic as participants may not believe the collapse. Mundane realism Sample and population (Generalise?): + Large sample lots of variation in participants (maybe representative) - Opportunity sample limits who may be included therefore may not be representative Data: + Both qualitative and quantitative data (easy to compare, describes why) - Qualitative data was done without consent, may not be true beliefs. Ethics: + Privacy and confidentiality complied with - Informed consent not given, no right to withdraw. 1 Debate it adds too: Personality/situation: Suggests that helping behaviour is dependant on situation not personality. Suggest 2 improvements for the study and for each state the effect it would have on the study Improvement 1: Change procedure. Have equal trials of cane/ drunk victim + black/ white victim + help/no help. Effect: current result biased by the limited amount of black trials. Equal trials allows for more objective comparison. This may improve internal validity. Criticism: may take more resources to complete study (planning, black victims etc) Improvement 2: Change the environment: have participants attend dental check up at a real dentist. Asked to wait in waiting room. Victim collapses in room as in the subway train. Effect: Increases control over participant variables whilst not reducing ecological validity. Internal validity improved. Criticism: may have demand characteristic (participant expect health worker to come in) Compared to one of the other studies of this approach Study: Similarity: Difference:
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