+ Wispe (1972) defined prosocialbehaviour as behaviour that has positive social consequences, and contributes to the physical or psychological well-being of another person. It is voluntary and has the intention to benefit others Includes both being helpful and altruistic. What is thought to be prosocial is defined by a societys norms.
+ Altruism Subcategory of prosocialbehaviour. Refers to an act that is meant to benefit another rather than oneself. Batson (1991) proposed that true altruism is selfless. Can we ever prove that an act does not have a long-term ulterior motive?
+ The Kitty Genovese murder Single event credited with providing a major force to research in prosocialbehaviour. New York, 1964. Kitty was attacked by a knife- wielding man on her way home from work. Her screams and struggles drove off the attacker at first but seeing no one come to the womans aid, the man attacked again. Stabbed eight more times and then sexually molested. In the half-hour or so that it took for the man to kill Kitty, not one of her neighbours helped her About half an hour after the attack began, the local police received a call from an anonymous witness. He did not want to get involved. When the police interviewed the areas residents, thirty-eight people openly admitted to hearing the screaming.
+ More recently… death of Wang Yue Security camera footage showing 18 people walking or cycling past her bleeding body
+ Latane& Darley’s Bystander "Apathy” (1969) Examined why people who are so willing to help in non- emergency situations dont in emergency situations. Characteristics of Emergencies Few positive rewards - Life is threatened for the victims and the helpers. Reactions are untrained and unrehearsed. Yet it requires instant action. It puts the potential helper in a lot of stress.
+ The Bystander Effect Fifty-nine female and thirteen male students. Each ushered into an individual room with an intercom system. It was explained to him that he was to take part in a discussion about personal problems associated with college life. Intercom for anonymity. During the course of the discussion, one of the other subjects underwent what appeared to be a very serious nervous seizure similar to epilepsy. During the fit it was impossible for the subject to talk to the other discussants or to find out what, if anything, they were doing about the emergency. The dependent variable was the speed with which the subjects reported the emergency to the experimenter. The major independent variable was the number of people the subject thought to be in the discussion group.
+ Five decision points: In all of Latane and Darley’s experiments, there were people who did try to help in every condition. Latane and Darley identified several decision points that a bystander must face before helping someone in trouble.
+ Help or Don’t Help: Five Decision PointsDecision Point Description Factors Influencing DecisionNoticing Realising that there is Hearing a loud crash a situation that might or a cry for help be an emergencyDefining an Interpreting the cues Loud crash isemergency as signaling an associated with a car emergency accident, ppl hurtTaking Responsibility Personally assuming A single bystander > to the responsibility to act actPlanning a course of Deciding how to help Ppl who feel they haveaction and what skills might the skills to help > to be needed helpTaking Action Actually helping Costs of helping (e.g. danger to oneself must not outweigh the rewards of helping)
+ Other factors AMBIGUITY: > ambiguity in the situation, < defined as an emergency. Bystanders may rely on the actions of others to help determine if it is an emergency or not. If all are doing this = likely seen as non- emergency. MOOD: good mood > to help than bad mood BUT not as likely to help if helping would destroy the good mood. GENDER: women > likely to receive help than men if bystander is male, but not if bystander is female. Racial and ethnicity differences between victim and bystander < probability of helping. ATTRACTIVENESS: > attractive > help. Victims who look like “they deserve what is happening” < likely to be helped. E.g.
Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax, homeless man, saved a woman who was beingMugged. He was then stabbed by the mugger and collapsed.Surveillance cameras showed over 20 people walking past him, shaking him,taking cell phone photos of his body for an hour with no assistance.Firefighters found him on their way to a call
+ (Rind, Strohmetz, 2006) Weather has an effect on people’s likelihood to help. A waiter would drop plates or food in a restaurant On sunny days, customers offered to help the waiter clean up On rainy and gloomy days, they hardly looked at the waiter struggling. Results consistent at different restaurants
+ Evolutionary theory for helping behaviour Evolutionary biologists have grappled with instances of cooperation in the animal world – e.g. Vampire bats regurgitate blood to others despite the possibility of dying if three days elapse without consuming blood. Stevens, Cushman and Hauser (2005) distinguished two reliable explanations: 1) Mutualism – cooperative behaviour benefits the cooperator as well as others 2) Kin selection – in which a cooperator is biased towards blood relatives because it helps propagate one’s own genes; the lack of direct benefit to the cooperator indicates altruism. Lacks human evidence (Kitty case difficult to explain at a biological level).
+ Empathy and Arousal While biological mechanisms could predispose you to act, if, when and how you respond will depend on your history and the immediate circumstances. A common experience before acting pro-socially is a state of arousal followed by empathy. Adults and children respond empathically to signs that a person is troubled, which implies that watching someone suffer is unpleasant. People often fail to act prosocially because they are actively engaged in avoiding empathy.