Exploring a Classic Case in Social Psychology Essay

1058 WordsMar 20, 20145 Pages
Individual Programmatic Assessment: Exploring a Classic Study in Social Psychology Christina Parker PSYCH 620 October 28, 2013 Stacy Hernandez Individual Programmatic Assessment: Exploring a Classic Study in Social Psychology Social psychology first examined the phenomena later termed “bystander effect” in response to a 1964 murder. The murder of a young woman with as many as 38 witnesses and none who helped until it was too late. The bystander effect is individuals seeing an emergency situation but not helping. There are many reasons why individuals do not respond: diffusion of responsibility, not noticing or unsure if it is an emergency, and not wanting to be liable if the person still dies are a few. The Study…show more content…
Implications and Situationism The study by Darley and Latane leaves society with the knowledge that everyone who is witnessing an emergency is most likely thinking the same thing “someone else will call for help or has already” so “Always act as if you are the only person there” (Darely & Latane, 1968). The concept of situationism is the driving force behind bystander effect. Situationism is “social behavior is, to a larger extent than people commonly realize, a response to people’s social context, not a function of individual personality” (Fiske, 2010, p. 7). Individuals first have to decide if they are witnessing an emergency. Then they need to decide if they have a responsibility to act which is when situationism comes in. If there are hundreds of witnesses each individual see the situation from a different perspective and responsibility to act is diffused among the crowd. On the other hand if one individual sees an emergency and believes there is no one else to help the responsibility rests on him or her. The context of the situation will determine how an individual will react, but people should consider the reality of everyone believing someone else will react and no one reacting. Kitty Genovese would still be alive if even one person would have called the cops when the first attack started. Cultural Aspects Would the study results be the same if the participants were from a different cultural,

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