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23.3: Key Takeways

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    • The social situation has an important influence on whether or not we help.
    • Latané and Darley’s decision model of bystander intervention has represented an important theoretical framework for helping us understand the role of situational variables on helping. According to the model, whether or not we help depends on the outcomes of a series of decisions that involve noticing the event, interpreting the situation as one requiring assistance, deciding to take personal responsibility, and implementing action.
    • Latané and Darley’s model has received substantial empirical support and has been applied not only to helping in emergencies but to other helping situations as well.


    1. Analyze the Kitty Genovese incident in terms of the Latané and Darley model of helping. Which factors do you think were most important in preventing helping?
    2. Recount a situation in which you did or did not help, and consider how that decision might have been influenced by the variables specified in Latané and Darley’s model.

    This page titled 23.3: Key Takeways is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Kate Votaw.

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