In the,” The power of situations”, by Lee Ross and Richard E. Nisbett, the authors are trying to show the power of situations effecting the decisions of the people, how people react in different situations. The authors are trying to prove that social psychology rivals philosophy in teaching people that they do not understand the true nature of the world. The above claim is supported by two experiments, the Good Samaritan experiment by Darley and Batson, and the bystander effect experiment. The authors purpose was to prove how situations effect out actions, they were successful in proving it by acquiring such positive results in both of the experiments.
The authors argue the difference in the point of view of the undergraduates and graduates of social psychology about the human behavior. Undergraduates who while taking their courses finds many facts about human behavior, it makes them feel satisfied with information, whereas graduates who have studied the human behavior for a long time have a challenged point of view towards the causes of human behavior than undergraduates. According to the authors small detail in an incident does not matter, what matters is the situation in which the incident took place. Authors argue about how the social psychology surpasses philosophy while making a decision. Even graduate students with years of experience, are not certain in predicting human behavior under peer pressure. In the end the authors talk about the “fundamental attribution error” it says that people who consider the personality traits and common tendencies in predicting the human behavior are proven wrong. They often fail to take into consideration the situational factors that affect the behavior.
The bystander effect is used by the authors to prove that predicting ones behavior is impossible if we take into considerations the insignificant details. In this experiment the subject is John who is
Cited: The Bystander Effect, Web. 1 Jan. 2010. <http://sociologyiu09.wordpress.com/2010/01/02/bystander-effect/> Darley, J. M., and Batson, C.D., "From Jerusalem to Jericho": A study of Situational and Dispositional Variables in Helping Behavior". JPSP, 1973, 27, 100-108. Ross, L., and Nisbett, R. E., The Person and the Situation, 1991. Chapters 1 and 2.