Helping Behaviour Toward Commonness Level of Event

Topics: Bystander effect, Kitty Genovese, Toilet Pages: 7 (1947 words) Published: March 8, 2013
The aim for this current study is to investigate whether helping behaviour will be affected by the level of commonness of event. There will be two groups of subjects, one group represents common and another group represents the uncommon. Both groups of subjects were most likely students studying nearby the location. Three or four of the experimenters will be the observers to identify the number of participants who offers help, and one experimenter will be role playing as the person in need in. The result of the study shows that average of 2.6 people offered help during uncommon events and only 0.8 in average of people offered help in the common event. Therefore, the result indicated that the commonness level of an event does affect people’s helping behaviour.

Helping Behaviour toward commonness level of event
The definition of helping behaviour in psychological term is voluntary action intended to help or benefit another individual or group of individuals (Eisenberg & Mussen, 1989). Understanding helping behaviour is important because it helps in finding ways to motivate people to help and also prevents people from making the same mistake. Latane & Darley developed the five-step cognitive model of bystander intervention which applied to emergency (1970). The five steps starts of with ‘noticing the event‘, and is respectively followed by ‘interpreting the event‘, ‘assuming personal responsibility‘, ‘choosing a way to help’ and lastly ‘implementing the decision‘. Additionally, Shroeder (1995) discovered that certain characteristics will influence the decision of helping, such as attractive physical appearance, similar racial characteristic and others more. Perhaps the most significant theory that relates to helping behaviour will be the bystander effect theory. In the bystander effect theory, Kitty Genovese (1964) would probably be the most well known name. In fact, she is the main reason for this theory‘s existence. Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death in front of her house in 1964 with 38 people witnessing the entire incident. However, not a single person offered helped (Brehm & Kassin, 1996)(Prevos 2006). The entire event happened over the period of approximately thirty minutes, then the murderer left after somebody noticed it. He then return to the crime scene ten minutes later and stabbed Kitty Genovese to death (Jones, 2007). The public was devastated about this event and psychologist started to investigate about the bystander behaviour so that history will not repeat itself, which later evolved into the bystander effect theory. Katzev and Averill conducted a research in 1984, titled “Knowledge of Bystander Problem and Its Impact on Subsequent Helping Behaviour” with high school students. Due to complexity of research paper, only the aspect that related to current field study will be discussed. The research was conducted on high school students and they were assigned into two locations with different incidents happening. One of it was dropping book which indicated common event and another one was someone having an asthma attack. The result showed that 66.7% of them were willing to help a female who had dropped her books, while there is only 42.9% of the Subjects helped a female who had asthma attack. According to this result, they assumed that bystanders are more willing to help as long as the helping response is not dangerous or did not involved any special skills(Katzev & Averill, 1995). The purpose for this field study is to investigate how the human helping behaviour will be affected by the level of commonness of an event. Throughout this field study, the experimenters hope to identity the difference in participants helping behaviour due to different level of commonness of events. There will be two groups of subjects, each assigned to undergo common and uncommon events in the public and the experimenter will observe whether anyone offered any help. The common event...
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