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Bystander Intervention

2x2 Study

March 7, 2005This study seeks to understand bystander intervention through a laboratory experiment. To do so, it will use a 2x2 experimental design in which an environmental variable particular to the phenomenon is systematically manipulated and a per*****nal difference variable controlled for, s*****ce individual difference *****s, as a rule, c*****nnot be manipulated.

The sample consists of 120 undergraduate college volunteers from a local college or university. While this may seem ***** introduce a degree of range restriction into the study, it should technically amplify the results since the behavior in question may differ across subjects differ*****g in age; that is, *****re is a possibility that the behavior may be more likely in older subjects, less likely ***** younger ones or vice versa. That being ***** case, the kind of range restriction suffered by the ***** serves as a ***** of control on ***** age variable. Results of this ***** could be meaningfully compared with a subsequent study of the same phenomen***** among septuagenarians, f***** instance.

Further, the subject pool is divided according to gender ***** 60 ***** ********** each group r*****omly assigned to either of the two treatments.

To help in designing a study to understand the phenomenon of apparently altruistic behavior ***** **********, the following two variables are defined:

Altruism: the dependent variable, consists of a bystander's intervention in an event that *****s a victim to a crisis.

Xeno-referenc*****g: an independent variable. It consists of a bystander's *****al response to ***** absence or presence ***** other bystanders.

The second independent variable is an individual difference ***** - gender.

***** m*****ipulation consists of two *****, and manipulates xeno*****referencing ***** ***** personal difference variables, male ***** female.

In the basic ***** treatment, a research subject is taken to a room set up to resemble ***** street corner, with a riser representing the curb ***** t*****ped lines on the floor representing street markings. During the experiment, two volunteer actors cross the "*****" from opposite directions. They collide and one of the assistants drops numerous packages on the street and must stoop to retrieve them. The sec*****d ***** assistant pretends not to notice and exits the room. Across all treatments, ***** aspect ***** the manipulation is consistent.

The difference in treatments for the two groups arises when the situational variable is *****d; the presence of other bystanders. In treatment one, apart from the actors in the drama, the bystander is alone. In treatment two, the bystander is the first person stand*****g on the *****, but o*****rs are present as well. Standing behind the volunteer on the ***** are two *****s and two males, who do not intervene or comment in any way on the *****.

With such a *****, the study shows three things. First, it *****sesses the ***** to which the presence ***** others influences subjects' interventi***** in the situation in a gener*****l way. Second, it shows whether ***** are ***** or less likely than ***** females to intervene in a general *****. Fin*****y, it shows ***** the


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