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What is the aim of Levine's research?

If helping behaviour within a city was stable across all the situations.
If helping behaviour ranged across cultures.
To identify characteristics of communities with more helping behaviours.


What is helping behaviour?

Helping behaviour is the voluntary actions intended to help others and is a form of pro social behaviour.


What is social exchange theory?

People help people because they want to gain from helping others, aiming to maximise the rewards and minimise costs.


What were the community variables measures in each city?

1. population size
2. economic well-being (PPP)
3. cultural values (individualism/collectivism, simpatia)
4. walking speed (pace of life)


What what the theoretical explanations for community differences in helping behaviour?

1. economic explanations
2. cultural values
3. cognitive explanations place of life.


What was the research method?

Cross cultural quasi experiment carried out in the field using an independent measures design.


What was the sample?

23 large cities from around the world, they all had populations more than 230,000.
One student would go to each county and collect all the data on helping behaviour.
Children (younger than 17) and people who were physically disabled, very old or not capable of help were excluded.


What were the helping situations?

Originally 5 helping behaviours, 2 did not work (asking for spare change and dropping letters).
Three helping behaviours:
1. dropping pen: confederates walked past a pedestrian passing in the opposite direction.
2. Hurt leg: walking with a heavy lim and wearing visible leg brace, confederates would drop a pile of magazines.
3. Helping a blind person across the street: confederates dressed in dark glasses and carrying a white cane. They would then stand by a traffic light and wait for help.


How was standardisation insured in the collection of evidence?

All experimenters received a detailed instructions sheet and on-site field training for their acting role.
The experiments practised together.
No verbal communication was required.


How was pace of life measured?

The walking speed in two or more locations in the city at a main business hours on clear days.


What were the main findings from the research?

No significance gender difference in helping behaviour.

The most helpful city wad Rio de Janeior (Brazil), the least helpful country Kuala Lampur (Malaysia.

The lower the economic growth (PPP) the more helpful behaviour shown.

Simpatia countries were on average more helpful than non simpatia countries.

Overall, a city's helping rate was stable across all three measures.


What were the main conclusions from this study?

Helping behaviour ranges across cultures, there are large cross cultural rates of helping behaviour.

Helping behaviour is inversely related to economic productivity.

Countries with simpatia are on average more helpful.


Evaluate the research methods used in Levine et al's research.

It was a correlational study.
A problem with the correlational research in their attempt to identify the characteristic of those communities in which strangers are more or less likely to help means they could not establish cause and effect.
Observational data collected from the confederates.


Evaluate the data collected in Levine et al's research.

The data collected in the study was quantitative, As no qualitative data was collected the research could not understand the reasons for peoples actions.


What are the ethical issues in Levines et al's research.

The participants in the study were deceived.
People did not consent to be part of the research and they could not withdraw.
Participants were not debriefed.


Discuss to what extent Levine research can be seen as valid.

Members of the public might have seen what the data collectors were doing and got suspicious about whats going on and this may have effected the behaviour.
The study had high ecological validity.


Discuss to what extent Levine research can be seen as reliable.

Levine procedure was highly standardised, all experimenters received both a detailed instruction sheet and on site field training for acting roles and learning the procedures.

Measuring helping behaviour in three ways allowed to measure consistency across multiple measures.

Large number of trials.


To what extent is Levine et al's sample bias?

Very large sample across multiply cities from all around the world. Cross-cultural study.


To what extent is research by Levine ethnocentric?

Not all cultures and countries are represented, only data collected from one city in Africa and only one city in the middle east.

No data was collected from Arabic countries in the middle east.

World cities were measures so some people in the samples may have not been from that city.


What what extent does Levine research support psychology as a science?

It is arguable that Levine research is scientific as it demonstrated methods of how the procedure can be replicated across 23 different cities.

It is falsifiable.


What what extent can research by Levine et al. be seen as useful.

It has relatively few applications. It might be useful when deciding where to go on holiday.


How does research by Levine et al link to the social area?

They were measuring variables of helping behaviour. All 4 variables in which they correlated against were social.

It can be seen as investigating the impact other peoples behaviour.


How does research by Levine et al link to the key theme?

The key theme is responses to people in need, this study suggests that helping behaviour can vary around the world.

This helps put Piliavin's study into context suggesting that results from the study in New York cannot be generalise to everywhere.

In Piliavin's study 90% of the helpers were male while in Levine' study there was no significant difference.

It changes are understanding of individual, social and cultural diversity.


Similarities between Levine and Piliavin?

Data was collected in the field.

Participants did not know they were taking part in the psychological research.

Data collected in urban settings.

The person seemingly in need of help was a young male.


Differences between Levine and Piliavin?

Whereas all the data collected for Piliavin et al.'s study was collecting in one country, Levine et al. collected it from 23 different countries.

Piliavin et al. were collecting their data in 1968, whereas Levine et al collected it in 1997.

Pilavin et al. collected their data in a confined subway setting, Levine et al. collected their data up on the street.

Where as Piliavin et al. collected all their data on helping behaviour in relation to just one helping scenario, Levine et al. collected theirs in relation to three scenarios.