SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY – CHAPTER 10 SUMMARY
Responding to an Emergency: Will Bystanders Help?
- In the case of an emergency, bystanders may or may not respond in a prosocial (helpful action that
benefits others without necessarily benefiting the person performing the act, and may involve a risk for
them) manner. (Heroism to apathy)
- Partially due to diffusion of responsibility (idea that responsibility of doing something is spread amongst
all the bystanders). The bystander effect (time/help in emergency effected by number of bystanders
present). Implicit bystander effect - the more bystanders, the less likely help will be administered/the
longer it will take.
- Whether or not the bystander helps depends on five steps:
1. Bystander must be paying attention/be aware of unusual event.
2. Situation must be interpreted as an emergency. Pluralistic ignorance (assuming that whatever
is going on is normal, as opposed to there being something wrong) can impede this.
3. Must assume responsibility to help.
4. Have the required skills and knowledge to act.
5. Decide to act on this. Social exchange theory (interactions between individuals, where one
aims to max rewards, min costs) might affect this.
External and Internal Influences On Helping Behaviour
- (+) and (-) emotional states – enhance or inhibit prosocial behaviour, depends on specific factors of
situation/nature of assistance needed.
- Men tend to help in more heroic, chivalrous ways, women then to help more in nurturing, caring, committed
- People are more likely to help those within the in-group than those of an out-group. In collectivist cultures,
this is more elevated than in individualistic groups.
- Individual differences are based on empathy (complex response, with both affect