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Living in Groups.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Joordens

PSA02 Feb 27 Bystander Interference Kitty Genovese (1964) – 38 people stayed silent for 35 minutes  A woman was being chased by an attacker who was stabbing her, around a parking lot of an apartment complex. People were actually watching this and did nothing. Kitty ended up dying in front of everyone. This began a bunch of studies of why people would not try to step in and help. Example study:  a woman is writing a survey. Smoke comes from under door, subject goes to find help.  In another part, there is one subject and a bunch of confederates. She doesn’t stand up to do anything. o The more people that were present in a situation, the less likely people are to help. o Diffusion of responsibility: if it’s one-on-one and the other person dies, the guilt is all on you. If a group lets a person die, then it’s the group’s fault. o Also, there is always the assumption that someone else in the group is more equipped to handle the situation – pushing off of responsibility o Conformity – if they’re not reacting, then everything must be fine. I shouldn’t react or else I look like an idiot. Assistance requires:  Noticing and correctly interpreting the situation  Assuming responsibility for helping (diffusion of responsibility)  Considering costs of intervention and concluding they are not too high  Then implementing the chosen course of action Social Facilitation
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