In 1969, researchers Bibb Latane and John Darley conducted a series of experiments. The experiments tried to determine how and when individuals decide to act upon witnessing a person in need of assistance. In these experiments, the researchers would stage an emergency situation. Then the researchers would measure how long it took participants to respond. Interestingly, the researchers discovered that participants were less likely to respond when they were with a group of people (Latane & Darley, 1969). By 1970, these same researchers suggested that bystanders might not respond for the following reasons (Latane & Darley, 1970):Diffusion of responsibility: A bystander assumes that someone else will offer assistancePluralistic ignorance: A bystander might look to see if others are helping first. If the situation seems ambiguous and no one else is helping, then the bystander is likely to think that there is no reason for concern.Bystanders might be concerned about making the wrong decision and being embarrassed or shamed as a result.Watch the following video about bystander apathy,(AT THE BOTTOM) and answer the following:Describe your initial reaction to the video. Identify what surprised you the most and what was not surprising to you?Explain what factors (i.e. diffusion of responsibility or pluralistic ignorance) would make an individual more or less likely to respond to a situation like this (Please make sure you use concepts from course materials to support your answer). Discuss why bystanders are more likely to help once someone has already intervened. Explain why a person is more likely to receive assistance from a bystander if the event takes place in a rural area compared to an urban environment.
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