Essay on The Behavior Of Bystander Behaviour

1608 Words Jul 15th, 2015 7 Pages
The behaviour of bystanders, that is people who witnesses an emergency, has been studied by social psychologists in order to gain an understanding of the ways in which people respond to witnessing an event such as a crime, accident or other form of emergency situation taking place. By explaining the key points taken from two case studies which have been used by social scientists to build their arguments about the ways in which bystanders behave, this essay will first give two different examples of bystander behaviour, before identifying two different approaches that have been used by social psychologists and examining the variety of queries, evidence and claims that were presented as a result of these investigations, in order to identify both similarities and differences in the methods used, and results drawn, from these different types of social science inquiry.
The study of Catherine Genovese is one example of bystander behaviour (Roseenthal 2008 {1964}, cited in Byford 2015,p225) whereby in 1964 Catherine was returning to her home late in the evening and was subjected to an attack in the street which went on for over half an hour, during which time she was stabbed on several occasions before dying on the street. Subsequent police investigations revealed that 38 local residents had noticed the attack, some stating that they had heard her screaming for help, whilst others reported having witnessed the attack from their windows. Yet apart from one neighbour shouting from…

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