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The Bystander Effect and Kitty Genovese Essay

Essay title: The Bystander Effect

❶The Mind of the Bystander.

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Kitty Genovese

Audience inhibition might explain why people are reluctant to intervene in response to a potential emergency. People become concerned about other people negatively appraising their altruistic behaviour. The study manipulated the number of people witnessing the incident 0, 1, 5, or Findings indicated that as the number of bystanders increased; those who adopted the perspective of the helper, assigned more responsibility.

Furthermore, participants who adopted the perspective of a bystander; indicated that they rated the helper as responsible for harming the person, irrespective of the number of bystanders present. When more bystanders are present, people are likely to respond to a person intervening, in a more negative manner, compared to when less people are present.

Cognitive appraisal suggests that after a person notices someone in need, a decision-making process takes place about whether to intervene. This involves considering potential benefits for example, social approval and costs for example, concerns about being harmed of intervening.

It also involves an assessment of the potential costs for example, guilt and shame and benefits for example, avoiding harm and injury of not intervening. Theoretical models related to the bystander effect are important because they suggest situations in which the bystander effect is most likely to occur.

Fundamentally, the bystander effect is most likely to occur when a group of people witness a situation, where a person is in distress and requires assistance. According to the theoretical model of diffusion of responsibility, people are less likely to intervene and come to the assistance of someone because they feel less responsible, as responsibility for the welfare of the person is shared among the other people witnessing the incident Garcia et al.

For example, early research by Latane and Darley suggested that people are less likely to intervene during an emergency when others are present. In this study, undergraduates completed questionnaires in a room that filled with smoke. Those in small groups were less likely to report the incident, compared to those who were alone. In a study conducted by Blair, Thompson, and Wuensch , undergraduates were sent a bogus email from a new student, seeking assistance about how to access an on-line journal database.

The number of other students, who participants were led to believe had also received the email was manipulated, resulting in four conditions 0, 1, 14, or 49 other recipients. Consistent with diffusion of responsibility, participants were less likely to respond to the email when they believed other people had also received the email. Similar findings were found by Barron and Yechiam In this study, an email generated more responses when it was sent to a single recipient, and responses were more detailed, compared to when it was sent to multiple recipients.

According to the theoretical model of audience inhibition, people are less likely to assist another person, when they are concerned that their altruistic behaviour will be negatively appraised Cacioppo et al. People become reluctant to intervene because of concerns about experiencing guilt, shame, or embarrassment. Research exists to support the validity of audience inhibition as a theoretical model related to the bystander effect.

Karakashian, Walter, Christopher, and Lucas explains how the effect of negative evaluation works. Participants were 83 undergraduates, who were randomly assigned to two conditions: In each condition, a confederate proceeded to drop a large pile of compact discs.

Findings indicated that when participants were by themselves, they were three times more likely to assist the confederate than when they were in a small group. This finding is consistent with diffusion of responsibility. In addition, participants who did not assist the confederate, reported that they were reluctant to intervene, due to concerns of how other participants might perceive them.

Furthermore, those who did not assist the confederate reported higher concerns about negative appraisal on self-report measures, compared to those who assisted the confederate.

Prior to intervening and assisting a person in need, people are likely to appraise the situation, by considering the respective costs and benefits of intervening and not intervening. According to this theoretical model, people are less likely to assist another person when the perceived costs of intervening outweigh those associated with not intervening Kerber, For example, a person may encounter a physical altercation and be reluctant to intervene, due to concerns about potential threats to their safety and physical integrity.

The potential costs of intervening would thus outweigh those related to not intervening. Early research conducted by Kerber demonstrated that when people perceive more benefits and lower costs, they are likely to engage in helping behaviour. This study relied on a sample of undergraduates, who read scenarios in which another student approached them, seeking directions to the admissions office.

Scenarios varied, based on the potential costs for example, amount of time and money lost and rewards for example, amount of gratitude displayed associated with assisting the person. Participants indicated the amount of assistance that they would be prepared to provide.

It tested this with woman to woman interaction only. The belief was that when gaze was held between the subject needing assistance and a random subject the expressed desire to help would raise. Methods Participants — For participants the study used one hundred and ten adult American women waiting alone at a bus stop in Staten Island, New York.

Procedures — Two women dressed in plain clothes or one woman alone approached a bus stop where a solitary other woman already was the subject one of the women had a cast on her dominant hand. The woman with the impairment reached into her pocket on the side of her casted hand with the opposite hand and attempted to draw coins from the pocket. Upon doing this she dropped the coins over the sidewalk. After the coins had fallen she either made eye contact with the subject or just proceeded to pick up the coins.

If the subject assisted in picking up the coins or helped identify where the coins were she was considered helpful. IV — the woman dropping the coins DV — whether or not the subject assisted in picking up or finding the coins. Should I help or should I just walk away? What I am referring to is something psychologists have named the Bystander Effect.

According to the Penguin Dictionary of Psychology, the bystander effect is defined as such: At first glance this definition seems a bit backwards. Common sense leads one to believe that there is safety in numbers. However, through research and personal exposure to this phenomenon in our society, the proof of this definition is all too shocking. For roughly thirty-five minutes, thirty-eight residents in the apartments that overlooked the street watched from their windows as Kitty Genovese was brutally attacked and continually stabbed.

Not a single resident offered assistance or in the least, called the police Rosenthal Where does one begin to try and understand this careless disregard for the safety of others? This event is a perfect demonstration of the Bystander Effect.

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Does the bystander effect contribute to the increasing number of crime as criminals nowadays are braver and know that our society today has a bystander mind set? What are the ways to counter or put an end to this problem? What are the ways the authority can do to create awareness of the bystander effect?

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- Bystander effect, (Darley & Latane, ) refers to decrease in helping response when there are bystanders around relative to no bystanders. Referring to previous study stating that there are some cases of which group size may promote helping instead of hindering it (Fischer et al., ).

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Bystander Effect Introduction The bystander effect is a social psychological occurrence that refers to scenarios where individuals do not provide help during emergency cases . In the following paragraphs, this essay will discuss the causes of the bystander effect, including, diffusion of responsibility, unclear perceptions, and the disregard of alarms. When this story appeared in the papers around the country, the public was outraged at what had taken place/5(5).

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Bystander Effect Essay Examples. 2 total results. An Analysis of the Bystander Effect and Diffusion of Reponsibility. 1, words. 4 pages. The Bystander Effect and the Different Factors that Influenced My Personal Experience with the Genovese Syndrome. words. 1 page. The bystander effect Essay Words 5 Pages In the early morning hours of March 13, , twenty-eight year old barmaid Catherine "Kitty" Genovese was murdered and raped on the street in Kew Gardens, New York.