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Lecture 21

Course Code
John Bassili

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Psychology II Lecture 21
Bystander Apathy
-a woman, Genieve was stabbed by a man with mental disability in New York in 1964
-event took place in a street around apartment
-there were 38 witnesses from the apartment and no one called the police
-they responded “I didn’t want to be involved.”
-in another case, researcher deliberately set up scenario where a woman’s purse was stolen by a
man in a public place with people around
-no one did anything to help the woman to chase the man
-people observe others behaviour, as no one does anything, no action is performed
-people were shocked about this unfamiliar situation and do not know what to do
-personal responsibility is when a person recognizes that he is the someone to call the police
Steps that witness needs to go through to get help for victim
1. Noticing a person, event, or situation that potentially may require help
2. Interpreting the event as one that requires help
3. Assuming responsibility
4. Deciding how to provide assistance
5. Helping
-in both cases, witnesses were stuck in step 3
3 Factors that contribute bystander apathy are:
1) Diffusion of responsibility
-no one takes responsibility to help and believes others will help
-in the first case, people were in the apartment so they could not see whether other witnesses
called the police or not
-failure to assume responsibility
2) Pluralistic Ignorance
-does not apply to the first case because they cannot see others’ behaviour
-in second case, witnesses can see others’ action
-they look at others and do nothing because others do not take action
-people seek cues from others
-it is more comfortable to do nothing
-in the textbook, pluralistic ignorance is also known as conformity
3) Cost
-personal danger lower the initiative of helping others
-the higher the cost, the less likely people will help
Self Concept
-role of memory in self-perception
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