Kitty Genovese Essay

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Inspired by events of the 1964 attack and murder of Kitty Genovese, just four years later, John Darley and Bibb Latané sought to try and understand what had contributed to the murder. Or, to be more specific, what contributed to the reasons why none of the people in the surrounding buildings tried to intervene or even offer help in response to the woman’s cries for help. While Darley and Latané suggest that the diffusion of both blame and responsibility was spread amongst the observers that none felt compelled to help, having been influenced by the perception that perhaps an unseen someone already had gotten help. To that end, they created an experiment that would create a similar scenario in order to see if by having more bystanders at the …show more content…
Perhaps unaspiringly, given the real world scenarios and situations that have unfolded much in the same way, the data that was collected throughout the course of the experiment supported their hypothesis. When the participant believed there to be four other people in the group who could help, they themselves only responded to the seizure 31% of the time – a figure that was doubled to 62% of those in the condition where the participant believed there were just two other people. In the condition where the participant believed that the only other person was the ‘victim’ they not only reacted more often (85% of the time) but they also reacted more rapidly to the seizure. For those in the two person condition, the participant reacted at an average speed of just under a minute – 52 seconds to be exact – whereas it took the participant in the six person group more than three times that – 166 seconds – to respond. It should also be noted that Darley and Latané found that if a participant did not get up or try to leave the room by the three minute mark, then they would consistently not do so at all; whereas conversely, 95% of the participants who did respond reacted within those first three

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