Because helping based on the reciprocity norm is based on the return of earlier

Because helping based on the reciprocity norm is

This preview shows page 451 - 453 out of 479 pages.

Because helping based on the reciprocity norm is based on the return of earlier help and the ex- pectation of a future return from others, it might not seem like true altruism. We might hope that our children internalize another relevant social norm that seems more altruistic: the social responsibility norm. The social responsibility norm tells us that we should try to help others who need assistance, even without any expectation of future paybacks. The teachings of many religions are based on the so- cial responsibility norm; that we should, as good human beings, reach out and help other people whenever we can. How the Presence of Others Can Reduce Helping Late at night on March 13, 1964, 28-year-old Kitty Genovese was murdered within a few yards of her apartment building in New York City after a violent fight with her killer in which she struggled and screamed. When the police interviewed Kitty’s neighbors about the crime, they discovered that 38 of the neighbors indicated that they had seen or heard the fight occurring but not one of them had bothered to intervene, and only one person had called the police. CHAPTER 14 PSYCHOLOGY IN OUR SOCIAL LIVES 443
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Video Clip: The Case of Kitty Genovese Was Kitty Genovese murdered because there were too many people who heard her cries? Watch this video for an analysis. Two social psychologists, Bibb Latané and John Darley, were interested in the factors that influenced people to help (or to not help) in such situations (Latané & Darley, 1968). [76] They developed a model (see Figure 14.9) that took into consideration the important role of the social situation in determining helping. The model has been extensively tested in many studies, and there is substantial support for it. Social psychologists have discovered that it was the 38 people themselves that contributed to the tragedy, because people are less likely to notice, interpret, and respond to the needs of others when they are with others than they are when they are alone. FIGURE 14.9 The Latané and Darley model of helping is based on the idea that a variety of situational factors can influence whether or not we help. The first step in the model is noticing the event. Latané and Darley (1968) [77] demonstrated the import- ant role of the social situation in noticing by asking research participants to complete a questionnaire in a small room. Some of the participants completed the questionnaire alone, whereas others com- pleted the questionnaire in small groups in which two other participants were also working on ques- tionnaires. A few minutes after the participants had begun the questionnaires, the experimenters star- ted to let some white smoke come into the room through a vent in the wall. The experimenters timed how long it took before the first person in the room looked up and noticed the smoke.
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