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NCJ Number: NCJ 052789     Find in a Library
Title: COSTS, DIFFUSION, AND THE STIGMATIZED VICTIM
Journal: JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY  Volume:32  Issue:3  Dated:(SEPTEMBER 1975)  Pages:429-438
Author(s): I M PILIAVIN ; J A PILIAVIN ; J RODIN
Corporate Author: American Psychological Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
National Institute of Mental Health
United States of America

National Science Foundation
United States of America
Grant Number: GS-32335; MH-18762-01
Sale Source: University of Wisconsin
Jane A Pilivan School of Family Resources and Consumer Sciences
Madison, WI 53706
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS STUDY TESTED THE FOLLOWING ASPECTS OF A MODEL OF BYSTANDER BEHAVIOR IN EMERGENCIES: PERSONAL COSTS TO THE HELPER, DIFFUSION OF RESPONSIBILITY, AND NATURAL APPEARANCE OF THE VICTIM.
Abstract: THE PILIAVIN AND PILIAVIN MODEL OF BEHAVIOR IN EMERGENCIES USED IN THE STUDY IS BASED ON FOUR PROPOSITIONS: (1) OBSERVATION OF AN EMERGENCY AROUSES THE BYSTANDER; (2) THE AROUSAL IS UNPLEASANT, AND THE BYSTANDER IS MOTIVATED TO REDUCE IT; (3) THERE WILL BE SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND PERSONALITY TYPES WHO ENGAGE IN IRRATIONAL, IMPULSIVE HELPING OR ESCAPING BEHAVIOR; AND (4) EXCEPT FOR THE CONDITIONS OBTAINING IN PROPOSITION 3, THE BYSTANDER WILL CHOOSE THE RESPONSE THAT BEST REDUCES HIS OR HER AROUSAL, WHILE INCURRING AS FEW COSTS AS POSSIBLE. SUBJECTS WERE NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY RIDERS WHO WITNESSED 166 TRIALS AT ALL HOURS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT FROM MARCH THROUGH MAY 1973. VICTIMS WERE PORTRAYED BY WHITE MALE UNDERGRADUATES WHO CARRIED CANES AND FELL TO THE FLOOR WHILE RIDING THE SUBWAY. FOR HALF OF THE TRIALS, THE VICTIM HAD A LARGE RED BIRTHMARK ON HIS FACE, AND FOR HALF OF THE FACIAL DISFIGUREMENT CONDITIONS, A NEARBY RIDER WORE A WHITE MEDICAL JACKET IDENTIFYING HIM AS A DOCTOR. THE VICTIM HAD NO DEFECTS FOR THE OTHER HALF OF THE TRIALS. THE SIMULATED EMERGENCIES OCCURRED AT BOTH THE LOW COST AND HIGH COST SECTIONS OF THE SUBWAY RUN. FINDINGS SHOWED THAT THE VICTIMS WITHOUT BIRTH DEFECTS RECEIVED HELP IN 86.4 PERCENT OF THE TRIALS, WHEREAS THE STIGMATIZED VICTIMS RECEIVED HELP IN 60.7 PERCENT OF THE TRIALS. THE EFFECT OF THE SUBWAY SECTION WHERE THE INCIDENT OCCURRED (HIGH COST VERUS LOW COST) WAS INSIGNIFICANT. THE OVERALL EFFECT OF THE PRESENCE OF A MEDICALLY COMPETENT BYSTANDER WAS SIGNIFICANT. THERE IS CLEAR SUPPORT, THEREFORE, FOR THE PREDICTED COST EFFECT ASSOCIATED WITH FACIAL DISFIGUREMENT, AND THERE IS SOME EVIDENCE OF A DIFFUSION OF RESPONSIBILITY EFFECT WHEN A MEDICALLY COMPETENT PERSON IS PRESENT. AN UNEXPECTED FINDING WAS THAT THE PERCENTAGE OF BLACK HELPERS WAS SLIGHTLY HIGHER IN THE BIRTHMARK CONDITION THEN IN THE UNMARKED CONDITION. REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (KJM)
Index Term(s): Victimology ; Behavioral science research ; Emergency procedures ; Simulation ; Models ; Behavior patterns ; Victim medical assistance ; New York
   
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https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52789

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