Essay about Discuss Factors That Facilitate or Impede Helping Behaviour

2284 Words Feb 13th, 2011 10 Pages
Discuss factors that facilitate or impede helping behaviour

In this essay we will discuss what defines behaviour/ helping behaviour, the social, environmental and biological influences that affect a person’s behaviour, pro-social behaviour, and the different factors that impede helping behaviour. Also Latané and Darley’s 1968 – 1980 experiments and studies that were conducted to understand human behaviour will be discussed, as well as the Kitty Genovese incident, in order to research into why help was not shown when there were so many people around.

Behaviour can be defined as the actions or reactions of an object or organism, usually in relation to the environment. Behaviour can happen consciously or subconsciously, overt or covert
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This shows that the importance of difference is a social influence that determines whether a person helps a victim. Therefore the greater the victims’ injury, distress or disfigurement, or the more we disapprove of them or their undesirable behaviour, the more likely we are to perceive them as being different from ourselves. This makes it less likely that we would offer help.

Helping behaviour can also be effected by environmental factors, for instance different areas (rural or urban areas), culture differences, simple factors such as the time of day and also time; whether a person is busy, running late or heading somewhere. In order to see how the cost of time would affect helping behaviour Darley and Batson, 1973 (as cited in Gross, 2001) created an experiment called, “If you need help avoid a late Samaritan.” This involved participants who were students at a theological seminary, who were instructed to present a talk in a nearby building. The students were halved; one half was told to speak about ‘The Good Samaritan’ while the other half were told to speak about jobs most enjoyed by seminary students. Then each student was told either
a. He was ahead of schedule and had plenty of time,
b. He was right on schedule, or
c. He was late.
On the way to their talk, each student passed a man slumped in a doorway,…

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