Social Behavior And Social Change

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In today’s society, a person is expected to offer help to those that require it, especially during an emergency. As a race, there is an expectancy to look out for one another. Researchers believe that there appear to be basic mechanisms in social animals which in turn make us want to help others (Deacon, 2013, p106). Instead, social behaviour and cultural influences that begin to be formed in early infancy, have a profound affect on the factors that determine whether or not to get involved during an emergency. Early exposure to pro-social models as well as the moral standards of a parent, contribute to the choices that a bystander will make when faced with a situation that requires their intervention. Darley and Latane (1968) hypothesised that helping behaviour can also be determined by the size of the crowd surrounding the emergency. The resulting study revealed that pro-social behaviour became less likely as group size increased and this was termed as the “Bystander Effect”. Other factors such as the role of social influence, dictates an individual 's fear of acting in a way that could be considered out of the norm. The motivation for personal glory can also contribute to the decisions made by a witness to an emergency. This essay will focus on the factors which determine whether or not a person will intervene in an emergency.

Beginning in early infancy, children are exposed and introduced to helpful models and taught about pro-social norms. These ideas and behavioural
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