Week 7 assignment

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1. Describe how the presence of bystanders affects helping. Some people may believe that being around many people would make them safer. However, that is not always the case. This is what social psychologists call the bystander effect (Edkins, n.d.a; Kassin, Fein, & Markus, 2010). Studies have shown that participants were less likely to aid another person in an emergency when they were in a larger group. According to Latane and Darley, there are five steps in an emergency situation (As cited by Kassin et al, 2010). The first step is taking notice that something is happening. In a large crowd, distractions and self-concerns can cause a person to not notice a problem occurring. Also, people who live in larger cities may be used to seeing people lying on the ground among other things causing what is called a stimulus overload. Also, as people look around, they may have pluralistic ignorance which is where people will look around and think that other people do not appear to be worried so it must not be an emergency (Edkins, n.d.a). The next step is interpreting the situation as an emergency (Kassin et al, 2010). In this step, ambiguity can cause a person to not perceive an event as an emergency. Also, if there is a perceived relationship between the victim and attacker, people may not think that it is an emergency. Following interpreting the event as an emergency, people will need to take responsibility to help the victim. However, in this step a person may diffuse responsibility from him or herself by making excuses like someone else is going to help. The fourth step is deciding on how to help. In this step, people may begin to have doubts about helping. This may be because of the person’s lack of competence in the skills they posse... ... middle of paper ... ...s through cultivation causing the person’s attitudes and values to change. Although it has been shown through research that viewing violence can influence a person to become violent, censorship would not be the way to solve the problem. For starters, this is highly unlikely to happen, and even if it did happen it would be unlikely to help. When looking at today’s societies, violence can be seen ranging from children’s cartoons to adult movies. Children are often exposed to aggressive and violent behaviors. Rather than censor these things, people should approach the subject from a different perspective. The most probable approach to handling violence in the media would be through proper education. Teaching children critical thinking skills for viewing violence in the media and enhancing their education about violent behaviors is more likely to work than censorship.
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