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2. Helping: Kitty Genovese and the Bystander Effect
About this Lecture
In this lecture, we think about early social psychological research into helping behaviour, focusing in particular on: (i) the case of Kitty Genovese, a murder case from 1960s New York in which a young woman was attacked while a large number of onlookers allegedly failed to help or intervene; (ii) the fact that, although the accuracy of this account has been questioned in later research by Manning, Levine and Collins (2007), the case nevertheless had an important influence on contemporary research into helping behaviour and famously inspired Darley and Latané’s study The Unresponsive Bystander (1970); (iii) the two key models to have come out of their research being the Decision Model of Helping and the Bystander Effect; (iv) how these models can help us to question the traditional view of non-helpers as callous or uncaring.
In this course, Dr Juliet Wakefield (Nottingham Trent University) explores the social psychology of helping and help-seeking. In the first lecture, we are introduced to the topics of helping and help-seeking. In the second lecture, we think about early research into helping behaviour, with a particular focus on the case of Kitty Genovese and its influence on the development of Darley and Latané’s Bystander Effect theory. In the third lecture, we consider later research into helping behaviour which was informed by Tajfel and Turner’s social identity approach. Next, we move on to think about help-seeking and help-receiving, focusing on the Threat to Self-Esteem Model. In the fifth lecture, we think about the importance of group memberships for helping transactions. In the sixth and final lecture, we conclude on the course with a summary of key points.
Dr Juliet Wakefield is a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Nottingham Trent University. Dr Wakefield is a member of the Groups, Identities, and Health research group and has research interests in the social identity approach and implications of group membership. Some of Dr Wakefield’s recent publications include ‘Communities as conduits of harm: a social identity analysis of appraisal, coping and justice-seeking in response to historic collective victimisation’ (2022) and ‘The link between family identification, loneliness, and symptom severity in people with eating disorders’ (2022).
Cite this Lecture
Wakefield, J. (2020, March 23). Social Influence – Helping and Help-Seeking - Helping: Kitty Genovese and the Bystander Effect [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/helping-and-help-seeking/helping-kitty-genovese-and-the-bystander-effect
Wakefield, J. "Social Influence – Helping and Help-Seeking – Helping: Kitty Genovese and the Bystander Effect." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Mar 2020, https://massolit.io/courses/helping-and-help-seeking/helping-kitty-genovese-and-the-bystander-effect