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Invinsible Evil: The Bystander Effect
Liew Qiao Li
Lee Jo Yee
Khor Seem Leng
Tan Shing Yeou
Stanley Low Jia Cheng
Group Research Assignment
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First, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Ms Pang Chia Yee for giving this
research assignment as well. Furthermore, I would like to thank all the participants involved
in this study for their time.
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents…………………………………………………………………………iii
RESULTS/DISCUSSION ……………………………………………………………… 7
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Nowadays, people will witness a crime happened instead of helping. The research involved
discovering how the community response towards the mishap of their surroundings. The goal
was to investigate that females would receive more help compared with males. To carry out
this research, victims with different gender will „faint‟ on the floor and waited for someone
who came and helped. In the other side, a camera was set and recorded down the whole
process. There were 221 participants ( 100 females & 121 males) involved. The data about
the number of people who ignored and offered a help will collected and be part of the
quantitative research. Based on the result, there was 16% of the Taylor‟s University Lakeside
Campus community would show emphatic values towards males whereas 17% of the
Taylor‟s University Lakeside Campus community would show emphatic values towards
females. Through showing that more help will be given to female regardless from the female
or male, this research highlights the emphatic values of male and female.
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To investigate the response of the society (teenagers) towards the mishap of their
surroundings. In other words, it was an observation about the response that we got from different
gender and the bystander effect on society. The experimental subject was the community of
Taylor‟s University Lakeside Campus which including people ranging from different
background such as gender, age, races, religions, nationality and professionals.
Based on Alain researcher, 1985, both men and women may ask for less help from an
attractive helper of cross-gender. However, according to Eagly and Crowley's (1986) social-role
theory, society expects men to help others in dangerous and risky situations. Thus, the riskier the
helping situation, the more likely it was that a man will help. This positive relationship between
the likelihood of helping and the risk level of the situation was intensified by the presence of
bystanders. Practically, bystander effect referred to the phenomenon in which the greater the
number of people presented, the less likely people were to help a person in distress. The
bystander effect was the psychological term coined after Kitty Genovese was raped and
murdered outside her New York apartment building in 1964. As the story unfolded, neighbors
ignored her screams during three attacks over a 30-minute period. The horror of the crime was
magnified by this apparent lack of interest, leading to studies that produced the bystander effect
theory. In a series of classic studies, researchers Bibb Latane and John Darley found that the
amount of time it took the participant to take action and seek help varies depending on how
many other observers were in the room. When an emergency situation occurred, observers were
more likely to take action if there was few or no other witnesses .According to Latané and
Darley experiments to test bystander behavior in non-emergency situations ,they found out that
the way in which the subjects were asked for help mattered. Through numerous studies,
psychologists had found that bystanders were less likely to intervene in emergency situations as
the size of the group increases.
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In conclusion, this experiment was to investigate the response of the society
(teenagers) towards the mishap of their surroundings. Based on the observation that
researchers did females received more help from the Taylor‟s University Lakeside Campus
community than males. Sexual stereotypes involved when the society still considering female
as a more feminine character and required more protection than Male.
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The independent variable was the gender of the researcher who „fainted‟ on the floor
and the dependent variable was the respond of the student of different genders. This
experiment studied the respond of students while they saw someone „fainted‟ on the floor,
different genders of student may give different genders of the victim a different respond and
result. The extraneous variable was the location of the researchers „fainted‟.
A total 100 females and 121 males from Taylor‟s University Lakeside Campus
involved in this research.
A consent form was used in this research to inform the participants what the research
was all about and seek for their advises to be part of the video presentation. Other than that,
a camera was also used for this experiment in order to record the whole process.
To prepare for the experiment, a consent form was first created and the procedures for
the experiment were formulated. On that day of experiment, Tan Shing Yeou was the one
who recorded down the whole process, Lee Jo Yee recorded down the
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data, Khor Seem Leng and Danish Asyik would debrief to participants while Stanley Low
Jia Cheng and Liew QIao Li would be the „fainted‟ researchers.
First, the camera was set up at an unobvious location to record down the process. When
everything was ready, the researcher would „faint‟ on the floor. The responds of the
bystanders and helpers would be recorded at the same time. A verbal debriefing was then
relayed to the participants. After that, the participants were required to fill up the consent
form to give permission for being part of the video presentation. The data were be collected
and analysis. Then, researchers would carry out discussion and conclusion depended on the
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Conclusion was drawn based on the number of people that passed-by the subject and
the gender. After the experiment, the hypothesis was accepted as: females receive more
help from the Taylor‟s community than males.
The experimental subject was the community of Taylor‟s University Lakeside
Campus which including people ranging from different background such as gender, age,
races, religions, nationality and professionals.
Number of Experimental Subjects
FIGURE 1: Number of people that has helped and not helped the female and male
coordinator in the experiment.
In this experiment, we have made the experiment for 20 attempts, with 10 attempts for
each gender. Female coordinator was played by Liew Qiao Li and has involved 101
experimental subjects whereas male coordinator was played by Stanley Low Jia Cheng
and has involved 135 experimental subjects. (Figure 1)
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FIGURE 2: Gender of people that has helped and not helped the female and male
coordinator in the experiment.
Based on the graph above, there was 21 people out of 135 that has lend a helping hand
to the male coordinator and out of these 21 people there was 8 male and 13 female. And
for the 114 people who did not help, they were 61 male and 53 females. As for the 15
people who helped the female coordinator, there were 7 females and 8 males. Those who
did not help were 27 females and 44 males. Hence, based on the result, there was 16% of
the Taylor‟s University Lakeside Campus community would show emphatic values
towards males whereas 17% of the Taylor‟s University Lakeside Campus community
would show emphatic values towards females.
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Willing to help (%)
Unwilling to help(%)
Male → Male
Female → Male
Male → Female
Female → Female
FIGURE 3: Percentage of the people that has helped and not helped the female and male
coordinator in the experiment based on the gender to gender basic.
FIGURE 4: Percentage of the people that has helped and not helped the female and
male coordinator in the experiment based on the gender to gender basic in table form.
Based on the table above, most help were offered from female to female whereas the
least will be the help offered from male to male. From this statement, there were four
inferences: First, male received less help than female from both females and males.
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have been perceived as a stronger individual and do not require much help than female.
Thirdly, females have offered more help ( 20% and 26%) to the victims than males who
only have the percentage of 12% and 18%. Fourthly, an inference also made that female
appears to have more empathy than male.
Reason being is that the perception of the Asian society towards women roles and
characteristics has long been defined and set. It can be traced back to the China dynasty
ages. In this article, Patricia Ebrey has written : “ Women were yin, men were yang. Yin
was soft, yielding, receptive, passive, reflective, and tranquil, whereas yang was hard,
active, assertive, and dominating” (Ebrey).
In this experiment, the By-passengers effect was observed as some passer-by tend to
just stood and watched. Bystander Effect refers to the phenomenon in which the greater
the numbers of people present, the less likely people were to help a person in distress.
When an emergency situation occurs, observers were more likely to take action if there
were few or no other witnesses. (Cherry) Classic example would be the experiment
conducted by researchers Bibb Latane and John Darley to find that the amount of time it
took the participant to take action and seek help varies depending on how many other
observers were in the room. (LATANÉ & DARLEY, SUMMER 1969)
In this experiment context, observation has been recorded that there were some people
refuse to give help when number of people surrounding is great. Example such as: In
video DSC_8051, from minute 02:25 to 02:46 , there was a boy and girl wandering at the
spot where researcher was. The participants did not take further action than just merely
looking at the researcher until there were more men to come and join them. Another
example which showed the presence of the dissenter was in the video DSC_8066, at the
minute of 00:26. The red shirt guy, who was the dissenter stepped forward the male
coordinator and tried to wake researcher up whereas his friends, the two white shirt girls
were standing still from a distance.
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FIGURE 5: Time taken for the female and male coordinator to be saved from the
This experiment did not take time as a measuring variable because there were times
where classes were dismissed and there were times when classes were ongoing. There
was non-constant flow of traffic. However, from the table above, we could make an
inference that the shortest time for female being saved is 1minute and 30 seconds whereas
for male being saved at the shortest time will be 1 minute.
To improve the accuracy of the result, we did suggest to execute and repeat the
experiment at various locations at Taylor‟s University to get more accurate result. A study
or an experiment on the gender roles in Asia society and the perspectives they perceive
from the society would further clarify the motion of this experiment.
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As a conclusion, the Asian society still considered female as a more feminine
character and required more protection than the Male. Hence, more help will be given to
female regardless from the female or male. Ironically, Female also often perceived as a
role to provide help and service, or being see as a more passionate organism that has more
emphatic values in Asian countries.
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1. Cherry, K. (n.d.). www.about.com. Retrieved 19th January, 2014, from
2. Ebrey, P. (n.d.). http://asiasociety.org/countries/traditions. Retrieved 20th January,
2014, from http://asiasociety.org/: http://asiasociety.org/countries/traditions/womentraditional-china
3. http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/gender. (n.d.). Retrieved 22th January, 2014,
4. http://www.simplypsychology.org/research-report.html. (2011). psychology research
5. LATANÉ, B., & DARLEY, J. M. (SUMMER 1969). American Scientist( Vols. 3096 ) . In B. LATANÉ, & J. M. DARLEY, BYSTANDER "APATHY" (Vol. 57, No. 2)
(pp. pp. 244-268). Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.
6. McLeod, S. A. (2011). psychology research report.
7. www.youtube.com/thebystandereffect. (9th June, 2009). Retrieved 22th January, 2014,
8. www.youtube.com: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSsPfbup0ac
PARTICIPANT INFORMATION LETTER
Liew Qiao Li, Lee Jo Yee, Tan Shin You ,Khor Seem Leng ,Daniesh Ashik and Stanley Low Jia
Cheng under the supervision of Ms Pang Chia Yee .
Purpose of the research
To investigate the public response (teenagers) towards the mishap of their surroundings.
What will we do with the data?
The collected data will be analyzed. The data will be retained for a period of two years after the
completion of the project, after that it will be destroyed.
Will my participation be confidential?
Your participation in this research project is entirely voluntary. You may stop your participation
in the research project at any time, without penalty or prejudice. All information collected in the
course of this project will remain confidential and anonymous, and you will not be able to be
identified from any of your responses
What will happen to the results of the research project?
The results of this research will turn into paper works and only the researchers and Ms Pang Chia
Yee will have access to the data resulting from this research project. Then, we will present our
findings in the class on 11 February 2014.
PARTICIPANT CONSENT FORM
I confirm that I have read and understand the description of the research project, and that I
have had an opportunity to ask questions about the project.
I understand that my participation is voluntary and that I am free to withdraw at any time
without any negative consequences.
I understand that I may decline to answer any particular question or questions, or to do any
of the activities. If I stop participating at all time, all of my data will be purged.
I understand that my responses will be kept strictly confidential, that my name or identity
will not be linked to any research materials, and that I will not be identified or identifiable in
any report or reports that result from the research.
I give permission for the research team members to have access to my anonymised responses.
I give permission for the research team to re-use my data for future research as specified
I agree to take part in the research project as described above.
Participant Name (Please print)
Note: If you have any questions or concerns about this research project, you may consult with Ms
Pang Chia Yee, email@example.com.
I give permission for the researchers to use the video, which I am involved in. In other words,
researchers are allowed to use this section of the video, which I am present, for their class