Chapter 10 discusses diffusion of responsibility—a belief that others will help someone in need, leading to a lessened sense of individual responsibility and a lower probability of helping. In this assignment, you will explore how diffusion of responsibility is exhibited in a real-world setting. To conduct this demonstration, when you are at work, on campus, or in some other public situation, act as if you need help with some minor problem. For example, you can look around confusedly while looking at your phone or drop something that will scatter a bit. Choose something innocuous and harmless to yourself. Do this a couple of times: once when there are several people present and once when there are only one or two people around.
After you complete these actions, write down your notes right away. Using your notes, compose an essay addressing the following points.
- Describe what you did and how it indicated a need for help to others.
- Explain the behavioral response to the situation when many people were present and when only a few people were present, including any differences between the two conditions.
- Discuss whether the response you received fit with the textbook’s discussion of the bystander effect. If your demonstration did not work out, explain why you think it might not have.
- Describe a behavior that may elicit an aggressive, rather than a helping, response. Discuss whether you think the likelihood of an aggressive response would differ when many versus few people were present. Compare this pattern of aggressive responses to helping responses.
- Draw on research from the textbook or another resource to support your answers.
Your response should be at least two pages in length. You must use at least one source as a reference in your paper. All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations. Please format your paper and all citations in accordance with APA guidelines.