Exploring a Classic Case in Social Psychology Essay

1061 Words Mar 24th, 2014 5 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
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Cultures from other countries will most likely react exactly as Americans as we are all humans. Human nature is basically the same no matter the culture, ethnic group, or gender. Social influence on human nature is either going to lead to action or no action. Cultural influence on human nature affects behavior rather than attitude toward one another. Humans are caring by nature and would help in an emergency when responsibility is obvious. Looking at the bystander effect we see that humans decide whether to act or no based on how many other bystanders are present and not concern for someone else’s safety. All the witnesses in the Genovese case said they were concerned for the woman, but figured someone had already called the cops (Darely & Latane, 1968).
Contemporary Society The results of the bystander effect study are important and relevant in contemporary society. Today’s society is full of violence and other forms of catastrophes. If people keep the results of the bystander effect study in mind when passing an emergency possibly more of them will help or at least call for help than did in 1968. Knowing that everyone else who sees the same emergency as you is thinking that surely someone has already called for help may lead to more calls for help. In 1968 everyone believed that someone else had called the cops, but in reality it took almost 33 minutes for someone to finally call. Hopefully today if a similar situation occurred there

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