In The Unlike Even Of Opening Skinner's Box By Lauren Slater

Decent Essays
Heroism can be defined a courageous act or great bravery. It can come from any individual, one does not have to be special or have a heroic moment. He/she may consider an individual like a parent, family member or friend a hero. Others may see policeman, firefighters, paramedics and our military to be our heroes. Altruism can be a synonym for heroism, as the reaction of risking your life to save another. The one, to help another without expecting anything in return, displays heroism. Heroic acts have been represented over the years. By a single individual or multiple combine. In September 11th, 2001 is a great example of heroic acts by men and women was shown to our nation. Unfortunately it was caused by one of the biggest terrorist attacks,…show more content…
In Chapter 4 of Opening Skinners Box by Lauren Slater, “In the Unlike Even of Water Landing” is a sad story of reality. The story is about a woman by the name Catherine Genovese who was tragically murdered on March 13, 1964. Unlike other murder and victims, Genovese might have been able to survive, after the initial killer attacked her. She was walking home after work in the middle of the night when she was attack, stabbed with a knife multiple times in front of her apartment complex. Genovese screamed, “Oh my god! He stabbed me! Please help me! Please help me!”.…. “ Immediately, lights flickered on the crowded urban neighborhood”(95). Record shows there were 38 witnesses that night of the murder, 38! Not only did they witness the murder, they observe and heard the attack multiple times. Genovese was attacked a total of three times before she was left for dead. The killer had left her alone twice, pleading for help, not one person attempted to help her. John Darley and Bibb Lantene conducted an experiment to explain why people failed that night to show heroism, or altruistic behavior as it was almost inhuman. They concluded with one specific phenomenon they called “diffusion of responsibility”(102) One seems to react different when one is surrounded by other people. Fear of judgment overcomes the ability to react even when a woman may need a hero to help her live. Our humanity has evolved to care more what people think of one another, than to do what is right. In the Genovese case the witness’s did not know how to react, part of which may have been fear and lack of bravery. In Darley and Lantene experiment the results demonstrated diffusion of responsibility. He/she fails to act because it relies on the others to react first. To take responsibility for their action no matter what the consequences may be. “ that we value social etiquette over survival”(104). It is sad and discouraging
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