ERIC Number: ED136131
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-May
Reference Count: 0
They Know I Saw It: Evaluation Apprehension and Diffusion of Responsibility in Bystander Reactions to a Violent Crime.
Gottlieb, Avi; Schwartz, Shalom H.
Male and female bystanders witnessed a violent theft in the course of a bogus "ESP Experiment." In addition to the subjects' sex, two experimental manipulations were orthogonally crossed. The subject was either the only one to witness the emergency, or witnessed it with an additional participant (diffusion of responsibility), and the subject's presence was either known or unknown to the other participants (evaluation apprehension). Both manipulations affected the bystanders' response latencies: participants whose presence was known responded more quickly than those whose presence was unknown, and lone bystanders responded more quickly than those witnessing the theft with another participant. Further, bystanders whose presence was unknown and who witnessed the emergency with another participant were significantly slower to respond than subjects in the other three experimental conditions. Since 1/3 of the bystanders' reactions did not lead to immediate helping attempts, latencies for effective helping were also analyzed. There were no independent effects of the two experimental manipulations on helping latencies. Only the statistical interaction was reproduced-- i.e., unknown bystanders who witnessed the theft with another participant were also slower to help than those in the other three conditions. The implications of these findings for the understanding of bystanders' decision process during an emergency are discussed. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Midwestern Psychological Association (Chicago, Illinois, May 6-8, 1976)