Monday, October 15, 2007

The Bystander Effect

Figure 9. The Bystander Effect (Gilovich, Keltner & Nisbett, 2006, pp. 536)

The Bystander Effect Appendix H


1. Theory
I have included four theories, which I have chosen based on the relevant research from a range of different sources. The theories I have chosen I feel best represents the spread of models and are the models that best represent the topic within the strict word limit. Other theories, for example the Social-exchange theory and conflict-decision model do exist, however I could not include them all.

It became evident early on in my research there were a few prominent people in the exploration of the bystander effect, for example Darley and Latané, thus I was able to specifically follow their research. This enabled me to cover a number of angles on the bystander effect. Unfortunately I was not able to add each element of the topic due to word restrictions, but also relevance to the topic.

I have understood the concepts and theories behind the bystander effect and I feel this is evident in my own personal experiences of the bystander effect. I was able to analyse my own thought processes and the actions in relation to Darley and Latané’s multistage model. I was also able to recognise the operation of the bystander effect in my other family members. I then effectively reduced the bystander effect by accepting personal responsibility, giving verbal encouragement to other members of my family to accept responsibility and by ultimately acting by reporting an incident to the police.

2. Research
For my blog I have used a wide range of resources, both primary and secondary sources. Around half my sources come from the last 7 years, this allows my blog to be relevant to modern society. Many of my other sources, such the studies by Latané and Darley, were published just after Kitty’s murder, initially investigating the bystander effect. These studies are valuable as they are the prominent research base of the bystander effect and offer a variety of perspectives, for example in the instance where someone can only hear another who needs help. However, a large gap exists in relation to the research. There is little information on the actual use of the research on the bystander effect. As Latané and Nida (1981) noted in their meta-analysis of the bystander literature, although we have a large body of well-established knowledge, we are no nearer to using this knowledge to ensure that future victims are more likely to receive help.’

Therefore, it was difficult to come up with possible solutions to reduce the bystander effect and I soon found the possible solutions I did find, or came up with applied to not only victims, but also to other bystanders and to society as a whole. However, there is one major flaw with the possible solutions directed at victims, is that if you are unconscious or severely injured you will be unable to state you need help and what help you do need.

Additionally, I found it difficult to find recent articles on the bystander effect. This was not because I simply did not look; I searched through numerous books and also on online journals. I even tried searching the internet for contemporary information; however this did not yield much that was valid. The best information I have found was from dated papers.

3. Written Expression
The readability of this blog has improved since blog 1. This is evident through the readability analysis of my second blog. On each of the scales, I scored better than on blog 1. These results are still far from perfect, but evidently improving.

On the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 28 (last blog 21)
Ideally, web page text should be around the 60 to 80 mark on this scale. The higher the score, the more readable the text.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 14 (last blog 16)
Ideally, web page text should be around the 6 to 7 mark on this scale. The lower the score, the more readable the text.

Gunning-Fog Index: 23 last blog (last blog 24)
Ideally, web page text should be between 11 and 15 on this scale. The lower the score, the more readable the text. (Anything over 22 should be considered the equivalent of post-graduate level text).

To increase the readability of my blog and to ensure my ideas were not confusing, I asked two people to proof read it. This ensures that people who are studying psychology and also people who are not knowledgeable in the area of psychology can still gain meaning from my blog.
I have used; headings, graphs, smaller paragraphs and have included an abstract to increase my written expression. Additionally, I have used several appendices and also links to multimedia and images, to cater for people who learn through different mediums. I think this is important as some people prefer to watch a multimedia clip, or look at a cartoon rather than reading a large article of work. The representation of ideas through different mediums is particularly important with regards to the bystander effect, as we want to educate as many people as possible. Thus, pure text would not entice everyone to learn about the effect. Furthermore, in my appendices I have included definitions that help with the readability of my blog, sometimes people can become lost through the excessive use of psychological terms.

My APA style I think is relatively accurate. I have read and reread my blog so many times, but there is still a chance that I could have missed a small error. The use of a blog makes it hard to do perfect APA style referencing, for example the ‘References’ are suppose to be indented. However, Blogspot does not allow the ‘tab’ option to work.

Word Count: 1,500.

4. Online engagement
My online engagement I feel has highly improved from my last blog. My postings on my blog have increased and also my blogs on other people’s pages has also increased. I feel three factors resulted in my increased contributions. Firstly, I became more comfortable with this mode of communication and assessment. Secondly, people have become more involved and therefore there is a wider range of topics being represented on people’s blogs, especially because everyone now has a different topic. Lastly, as everyone has selected a different topic I was not reluctant to put my ideas and research on my blog early (actually I think I was first).

My online engagement would have been better if I had emailed discussion points to the unit as a whole, however as far as commenting on other people’s blogs and publishing posts and comments on my page, I think my engagement was good. This was evident in that I received two stars during the first two weeks after the first blog was submitted. On my blog page I also created a poll to encourage involvement from other students. My second blog was also uploaded early to allow people to comment and add suggestions. I was able to act on these suggestions to increase the readability and lay out of my blog.

However, in saying this I did not write my draft straight onto a blog. But this was not without reason. I found that by typing my essay straight onto a blog, I could easily misspell words and not even realise. This would affect my written expression component, and hence I chose to write my blog into a word document first, and then paste it onto my blog. By uploading my blog early it enabled people to comment, and hence I was still able to reach the communication component.

List of contributions:
On other people’s pages
1. on Luke Muller’s Page in relation to his social-self on Emma’s Page in relation to Aboriginal Stereotypes in Australia
2. on Mrs Freud’s Page in relation to the Short Rwanda Video
3. on Beck’s Psych Blog in relation to ‘Can you hear me?’
4. on Josie’s Social Psych Blog in relation to ‘Weekly Quote’
5. on Luke Muller’s Page in relation to ‘Internet Chatroom Parody’
6. on Fi’s Social Psych Page in relation to ‘City to soil project’
7. on Graham’s Blog in relation to ‘Suicide definition’
8. on Zoe’s Social Psych Blog in relation to ‘Witnessing bystander effect’
9. on Mike’s Blog in relation to Week 10 Discussion
10. On Zoe’s Social Psych Blog in relation to the Bystander Effect
11. on Beck’s Page in relation to the Dove Beauty Video
12. on Karen’s Page in relations to the Bystander Effect
13. on Rach’s Page in response to her comment on the Bystander Effect
14. on Jess’s Page in relation to Eccentricity
15. on Amanda’s Page in relation to the Citizens Test

My blog

Friday, October 12, 2007

Reply to Amanda

Amanda raised a good point in relation to an awareness booklet on the Bystander effect. There is a possibility that the booklet will be thrown out with the junk mail or it will not be read. I feel that with any campaign there is a risk that it will not reach the intended audience. For example, with a television campaign, not all people watch tv, or some may watch pay tv, therefore a section of the intended audience is not reached. I have suggested a booklet and also television campaign to combat this problem and will hopefully reach as many people as possible.

Education within schools is definately a must. By educating children we educate the future. But this does not mean we should forget about the current adults, as they also play an important role in society. Research has indicated that by simply knowing about the bystander effect, people become more likely to be aware of the effect and thus intervene. I hope my blog will educate those who read it, and hopefully this issue will become more known.

Thankyou to those who have commented on my blog, voted on my poll and read the blog. I enjoy hearing feedback from everyone, especially on your own experiences of the bystander effect.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Bystander Effect Appendix G

Costs and Benefits of Helping

Figure 8. Some costs and benefits of helping (Baumeister & Bushman, 2008, pp. 282)

The Bystander Effect Appendix F

Darley and Latané’s multi-stage model

Figure 7. Five Steps to helping and the obstacles encountered at each step(Baumeister & Bushman, 2008, pp. 269).

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Bystander Effect Appendix D

The likelihood of bystander intervention decreases when people are in a hurry.

Figure 2. People are more likely to help when they are not in a hurry (Gilovich, Keltner & Nisbett, 2006).

The Bystander Effect Appendix E

Experiments Demonstrating The Bystander Effect

Numerous studies have been conducted to demonstrate the Bystander Effect. These are results from a few of these studies...

Figure 3.
The Effects of group size on helping (Fiske, 2004, pp. 320).

Figure 4 demonstrates the findings of four studies conducted by Latané and Darley.

The Smoke Filled Room-
The subjects were placed in a room alone or in groups of three with other subjects or confederates. They were then asked to fill out some preliminary questions. Soon smoke was pumped into the room through an air vent. Students who were alone reported the smoke 75% of the time, 38% of the students in groups of three acted and only 10% when the subjects were in the presence of two confederates who appeared oblivious to the smoke.

Injured Woman-
The subjects were placed in a room to fill out a survey. During this time they heard a chair fall over and a woman's scream accompanied by claims of being hurt, moaning and crying. Subjects were either placed alone, with a passive confederate, with another subject they did not know or with another subject who they were friends with. 70% of all subjects offered to help. However only 7% of the subjects in the passive confederate condition intervened.

Money Theft (Hand in the till)-
Whilst awaiting an interview, male graduates were witness to a theft (actually a confederate), in one condition the subject was the sole witness and in another, two subjects were present. The 'thief' took money from an envelope on the receptionist's desk, placed it in his pocket and sat back down, when the receptionist left the room. Despite the obviousness of the crime, many subjects claimed they had not noticed the crime. 52% of the subjects who were in the alone condition claimed they had not noticed the theft, while 25% of the Together pairs said that had not noticed.

Beer Robbery-
The robbers (confederates) either in a pair or singly entered the store and whilst the cashier is out back, they walk out the door with a case of beer. This is conducted when either one or two people are in the store and at least one of them at the counter. On the cashier's return, the number of bystanders who; spontaneously mentioned the robbers (20%), reported the crime after prompting from the cashier (51%) and did not report it at all were measured.

Figure 4. Percentages of Single Subjects or Group Helping (Latané & Darley, 1970, pp. 88).

Figure 5 further demonstrates the results of the Smoke Filled Room Experiment.

Figure 5. The Smoke Filled Room Experiment (Myers, 2007, pp. 368).

Figure 6 depicts the bystander effect in relationship to violent theft. Evidently, this is an issue due to the failure for people to act.

Figure 6. Bystander reactions to violent theft (Schwartz & Gottlieb, 1976).