PSY 306 Lecture Notes - Lecture 17: Cognitive Dissonance, Ingroups And Outgroups, Fundamental Attribution Error

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Class 17: Helping, Altruism, and Prosocial Behavior
Bystander
Apathy
Factors
Factors that Determine Helping
Noticing something is wrong
Deciding its an emergency (interpretation)
Deciding one is personally responsible
Deciding one is capable of helping
Latané and Darley (1970)
The problem with bystanders
Presence of others undermines each of these factors because
we know we’re being seen by others
Naive theory of helping doesn’t focus on these factors
Noticing
Automatic vs. Controlled Processing
Most of the time we’re in automatic mode and it might not
occur to us that something is wrong or unusual
Good Samaritans
Interpretation
Informational influence: look to others to define the situation
“Where there’s smoke” study by Latané and Darley where
smoke starts to fill the room, how fast do people notice?
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After the experiment, those who had been alone most often
reported the smoke that made them think there was fire
Those with others reported thinking it was just smoke
Didn’t think interpretation was biased by having others around
them
Interpreted the situation as safe because no one else reacted
Letting others define the situation
Pluralistic Ignorance: people mistakenly believe their own thoughts
and feelings are different from those around them
Even if they all behave the same
When everyone in a group really thinks X is the case, but each
person believes that everyone but them really believes y and so
they keep their beliefs to themselves
“Stupid questions” effect in school
Kind of seems like an emergency, but…
Assume others would do something if it was a real
emergency, but they are scared and not acting
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