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50 Years of ERIC
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ERIC Number: EJ775563
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 8
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0003-066X
The Kitty Genovese Murder and the Social Psychology of Helping: The Parable of the 38 Witnesses
Manning, Rachel; Levine, Mark; Collins, Alan
American Psychologist, v62 n6 p555-562 2007
This article argues that an iconic event in the history of helping research--the story of the 38 witnesses who remained inactive during the murder of Kitty Genovese--is not supported by the available evidence. Using archive material, the authors show that there is no evidence for the presence of 38 witnesses, or that witnesses observed the murder, or that witnesses remained inactive. Drawing a distinction between the robust bystander research tradition and the story of the 38 witnesses, the authors explore the consequences of the story for the discipline of psychology. They argue that the story itself plays a key role in psychology textbooks. They also suggest that the story marks a new way of conceptualizing the dangers of immersion in social groups. Finally, they suggest that the story itself has become a modern parable, the telling of which has served to limit the scope of inquiry into emergency helping.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail: order@apa.org; Web site: http://www.apa.org/publications
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: N/A