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A Social Psychology Case Study

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1 A Social Psychology Case Study
Kitty Genovese AP Psychology Mr. Tusow A Social Psychology Case Study The Bystander Effect and the Diffusion of Responsibility

2 The Attack Early in the morning on March 13, 1964, a young woman was walking from her car to her apartment. As she neared her house, a man approached and started chasing her. As he caught her, he stabbed her multiple times. As she was attacked she began to scream: "Oh my God, he stabbed me! Help me!” It was originally thought that as many as 38 people heard her screams or saw the attacks, yet no one went to her aide. Kitty Genovese

3 The Attack One neighbor yelled at the attacker to leave the girl alone. Scared off by the neighbor, the attacker fled and Genovese staggered toward her apartment. No one came out to her aide, and 10 minutes later, Genovese's attacker returned but could not find her in the parking lot. Kew Gardens Queens, New York

4 The Attack After searching the parking lot, cars and nearby train station, the attacker found Genovese lying barley alive in the hallway of her own apartment building. Out of view of the street and of those who may have heard or seen any sign of the original attack, he proceeded to further attack her, stabbing her several more times. While she lay dying, he sexually assaulted her. He stole about $49 from her and left her dying in the hallway. The attacks spanned approximately half an hour.

5 Site of the Attack

6 Present Day Site of the Attack

7 Helping Kitty Genovese
A few minutes after the final attack a witness, neighbor Karl Ross, called the police. Police and medical personnel arrived within minutes of Ross' call. Genovese was taken away by ambulance and died en route to the hospital. While original reports of as many as 38 witnesses may have been overstated, at least a dozen neighbors did witness the attacks. One person yelled at the attacker One person called the police 35 minutes after the attack started

8 Explanation or Excuse? A later investigation revealed that approximately a dozen (but probably not the 38 originally thought) individuals heard or observed portions of the attack. The report stated that only one witness was aware she was stabbed in the first attack, and only one was aware of the second attack. Many were entirely unaware that an assault or homicide was in progress; some thought it was a lovers' quarrel or drunks leaving the bar outside when the attacker first approached.

9 The Attacker Winston Mosley was later arrested in connection with a burglary. He confessed not only to the murder of Kitty Genovese but also to the murder and rape of two other people. Moseley gave such vivid details of the night he killed Genovese, including leaving his house and wife at 2 a.m. to go look for a woman to attack and kill…the third time he had done so. Winston Mosley

10 Public Reaction The lack of reaction by people who witnessed some or all of the attack outraged the public. The psychology world was forced to research how and why people fail to act in certain situations.

11 Diffusion of Responsibility
Diffusion of Responsibility: a social phenomenon which tends to occur in groups of people, above a certain critical size, when responsibility is not explicitly assigned. “No one raindrop thinks it caused the flood” Examples: Firing Squad; cleaning of common spaces

12 The Bystander Effect Bystander Effect: a social psychological phenomenon in which individuals are less likely to assist in an emergency situation when other people are present. Probability of help is inversely proportional to the number of bystanders-as group size grows, odds of helping decreases

13 Social Exchange Theory
Social Exchange Theory: a belief that all relationships are formed by the use of a subjective cost-benefit analysis and the comparison of alternatives. When a person feels the costs of a relationship outweigh the perceived benefits, that the person will leave the relationship. Social Exchange Theory Graphed University of Evansville

14 Empathy-Altruism Empathy-Altruism: A theory that people help others out of genuine concern for the well-being of the other person. Altruism: sacrificing the good of oneself for the well-being of others According to the 'empathy-altruismhypothesis', if you feel empathy towards another person you will help them, regardless of what you can gain from it.

15 Good Samaritan Law Good Samaritan Laws: Laws protecting people from liability when they choose to aid others who are in peril. Intended to reduce bystanders' hesitation to assist, for fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury. Eight states have laws, also called Good Samaritan Laws, that require citizens to help people in peril. Florida Massachusetts Minnesota Ohio Rhode Island Vermont Washington Wisconsin

16 Duty to Rescue A duty to rescue arises where a person creates a hazardous situation. If another person then falls into peril because of this hazardous situation, the creator of the hazard has a duty to rescue the individual in peril. Other examples of a duty to rescue include: Emergency workers have a general duty to rescue the public within the scope of their employment, but not a duty to specific individuals Parents have a duty to rescue their children This duty also applies to those acting in loco parentis, such as schools or babysitters Common carriers have a duty to rescue their patrons. Bus drivers or pilots Property owners have a duty to rescue guests from all dangers on the property Spouses have a duty to rescue each other

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