Piliavin et al, 1969 (Subway) Flashcards Preview

Psychology > Piliavin et al, 1969 (Subway) > Flashcards

Flashcards in Piliavin et al, 1969 (Subway) Deck (25):

What is the aim of the study?

To investigate the effect of variables on helping behaviour: e.g. If victim is drunk/lame, black/white, in a real life situation.


What is the method?

Field experiment.


Where did the field experiment take place?

New York subway.


What time did the experiment take place?

11am-3pm. (weekdays)


How long did the study take place?

2 months.


How many participants were in the study and who were they?

4500 passengers on the train.


What were the four IVs in the study?

-Victim drunk/lame
-Victim black/white
-Model intervened after 70s, 150s or no model
-Group size


What were the three DVs?

-Amount of people who helped the victim.
-Time when help was first offered.
-Race, sex, location of every helper.


Describe the procedure.

The team got on the train separately knowing there would be 7 1/2 minutes until the next stop. The female observers took seats in the adjacent area (next to critical area), the model stood in either the critical area or the adjacent area depending on the trail. After 70 seconds the victim collapsed and remained lying on his back until help was offered. The model would either help at 70s, 150s and ask others for help or there was no model. If no help was given from the participants after 7 1/2 mins, the model would help the victim to his feet and the team left the train.


Describe the victim.

-Aged 26-35
-One was black, three were white.
-All male, dressed identically.
-38 trials: drunk (smelled of alcohol and carried a bottle of alcohol)
-65 trials: sober but was lame and carried a cane.


Describe the model.

-Four white models.
-Aged 24-29.

-No model.
-Model helped after 70s.
-Model helped after 150s.


How many people were in one compartment on any one trial and how many people were in the "critical area" on average?

-43 people
-8.5 people


What were the results? (4)

-Cane victim received help 95% of the time (62/65)
-Drunk victim received help 50% of the time (19/38)
-60% of trials, the victim was given help by 2 or more helpers.
-20% trials (with and without a model), 24 people left the critical area after the victim collapsed.


Results: Time taken (2)

-17% of drunk victims were helped before model. (Average- 109s)
-87% of cane victims were helped before model. (Average- 5s)


Results: Gender

90% were male helpers.


Results: Race

-Black victims received less help especially when drunk.
-Drunk condition: same race effect.


Define: Diffusion of responsibility and was it found in the study?

An individual will feel less responsible in an emergency situation when in a group as responsibility is shared.

-No: More passengers, more help was given.


Define: Altruism

Helping others without expecting anything in return.


Define: Bystander's effect

People are less likely to help in an emergency if other people are present.


Define: Pluralistic Ignorance

In emergency situations we seek clues for how we should react from those around us. If each person who does nothing convinces others that no help is needed.


What were the strengths of the method used?

-High EV (field experiment)
-Reduces demand characteristics
-Reduces social desirability bias


What were the weaknesses of the method used?

-Consent (didn't know they took park)
-Deception (victim not really in need of help)
-Protection (witnessing collapsing could be distressing)
-Lack of control
-Uneven number of trials (more cane than drunk and more white victims than black)


How representative was the sample of participants?

Large sample but only sampled people who travelled on the subway and at that particular time of day (11AM to 3PM) so its likely to underrepresent certain groups.


What type of data was collected?

-Quantitative (time taken to help and number of people who helped)
-Qualitative (comments made by passengers, "I wish I could help him- I'm not strong enough."


What would you change?

Sample: All times of the day, could be done at different subways. Make it more representative and can be generalised. It will take more time and money to improve sample.
Data collected: More qualitative- why they helped. Get more detail about reasons why they helped but it'd be harder to evaluate and analyse as it is qualitative.