Final Project – Research Study Comparative Analysis sample essay

Final Project – Research Study Comparative Analysis

I. Introduction

Part A: Summary of the research question, results, and conclusions

The selected classic study

The research question for the study by Darley & Latané (1968) is “What factors affect a bystander’s intervention in emergencies?” This study found that a person is usually reluctant to intervene in an emergency when he or she is aware that other onlookers are present. The victim is more likely to get help when there are a single or few observers than when there are multitudes of onlookers/bystanders. This study suggests that a bystander’s nonintervention in real-life emergencies lie more in his or her reaction to the other onlookers than his or her feeling about the victim. 

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The selected modern study 

The research question of the study by Wilhelm & Bekkers (2010) is “What is the relative significance of the innate human norm of helping others and the principle of care?” This study found out that the care-helping relationship is greater than the empathy-helping relationship for many actions involving helping people. It was also established that the empathy-helping association is founded on the human norm of assisting people. This study suggests that the principle of care reconciles the innate norm of an individual in helping others. 

Part B: The social psychological approaches used in the studies

The selected classic study 

This experimental study involved 59 female and 13 male students who had been enrolled in introductory psychology programs at New York University. The participants took part in this experiment as partial fulfillment of their classwork. The participants were to give their opinions regarding the forms of issues facing college students in a populated urban setting. The study hypothesized that the more onlookers to an emergency, the less likely an individual onlooker will intervene to offer help. This study used test-retest reliability to measure the consistency of the results.

The selected modern study 

This was an experimental study that used the data from the General Social Survey to examine behaviors that individuals have in helping others. The study had three hypotheses. The first hypothesis of this study is that dispositional empathetic concern and principle of care are individually directly linked with several forms of helping behavior. The other hypothesis of this study is that the principle of care links the relationship between empathic concern and helping behavior. The third hypothesis of this study is that the principle of care links the dispositional empathic concern with the helping behavior. All these three hypotheses attempted to find a correlation between the independent variables (a dispositional empathic concern and the principle of care) and the dependent variables (different forms of helping behavior). Random sampling was used in selecting the participants of the study from the U.S. adult population. The study used a five-point scale to measure the empathic concern. This empathic concern scale was reliable and valid because it has been widely used to measure dispositional empathic concern.

Part C: The theories and past research that were used by authors to inform their approach 

The selected classic study

The study by Darley & Latané (1968) was informed by Hoffman’s Theory of Moral Development. This theory argued that empathy is a process that begins from the time of reacting to a situation of a crying baby to more empathic distress like helping poor people.

The selected modern study

On the other hand, the study by Wilhelm & Bekkers (2010) was informed by the research done Milgram & Hollander (1964), who had found that there are common humanitarian norms regarding helping a victim, but there are also both logical and illogical worries surrounding the uncertainty to an individual who does not get involved.

Part D: Approaches used by authors to indicate how the field of social psychology has changed over time

The selected classic study 

The study by Darley & Latané (1968) used test-retest reliability to measure the consistency of the results. This research also used random sampling to ensure the results were representative of the whole population.

The selected modern study 

The study by Wilhelm & Bekkers (2010) used a five-point scale to measure empathic concern. Random sampling was also used to ensure the reliability of the study.

II. Human Behavior 

Part A: How the research trends of the time influenced the development of the research

The selected classic study

The study by Darley & Latané (1968) was influenced by the findings of two main previous types of research. First, Milgram & Hollander (1964) had found that there are common humanitarian norms regarding helping a victim, but there are also both logical and illogical worries surrounding the uncertainty to an individual who does not get involved. Second, Aronfreed (1964) had found that under situations of group responsibility, the blame or punishment that faces any one person is usually slight or nonexistent. The findings of these two studies influenced Darley & Latané (1968) to examine the factors that affect a bystander’s intervention in emergencies. 

The selected modern study

The study by Wilhelm & Bekkers (2010) was influenced by Hoffman’s (2000) Theory of Moral Development. This theory argued that empathy is a process that begins from the time of reacting to a situation of a crying baby to more empathic distress like helping poor people. According to Hoffman (2001), empathic distress results in sympathetic distress caring about the other. These findings necessitated Wilhelm & Bekkers (2010) to investigate the relative significance of the innate human norm of helping others.

Part B: How the results/conclusions of the study may have influenced human behaviors 

The selected classic study

This study urged people to be taking individual efforts in helping others at the time of emergencies regardless of the number of bystanders available. It emphasized the need for individuals to take responsibility for those in need. This study helped people to understand that the blame for not helping others during emergencies is diffused to every bystander/looker.

The selected modern study

Wilhelm & Bekkers (2010) emphasized the need for individuals to be empathic to the needs of others. For instance, organizations learned how to make their employees aware of their weaknesses and strengths. By working in teams, individuals can learn to accommodate each other. Furthermore, self-control is important to ensure that an individual does not act out of emotions in a way that would hurt or annoy other people.

Part C: How the study was aligned with the established research trends

The selected classic study

During the 1950s, the social psychologists Leon Festinger and Kurt Lewin had refined the experimental method of studying behavior and created social psychology as a robust scientific discipline. During this time, there was a need to measure variables and utilize laboratory experiments to step-by-step test study hypotheses regarding social behavior (Hare, 1955). The study by Darley & Latané (1968) is aligned with these research trends because it was used experiment to analyze factors that affect a bystander’s intervention in emergencies.

The selected modern study

During the early 2000s, social psychology expanded into the area of attitudes, with a special focus on cognitive processes. Many psychologists explored the relationship between cognitive processes and behavior (Miller, 2003). The study by Wilhelm & Bekkers (2010) is aligned with these research trends since it explored the significance of the innate human norm of helping others.

III. Influence on Society 

Part A: Elements of the study that may have been a benefit to society

The selected classic study

The study by Darley & Latané (1968) had been beneficial to society during the era of domestic violence. In the 21st century, domestic violence has increased. Domestic violence involves a physical fight between spouses or family members. Darley & Latané (1968) urge people to be taking individual efforts in helping others at the time of emergencies regardless of the number of bystanders available. Domestic violence results in injuries or even death. It is, therefore, vital for society members to be intervening when they witness cases of domestic violence in their neighborhoods.

The selected modern study

The study by Wilhelm & Bekkers (2010) has been beneficial to society during times of natural calamities such as floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes. According to Wilhelm & Bekkers (2010), the empathy-helping relationship is based on the human norm of assisting people. This study emphasizes the need for been to cultivate norms such as empathy to be able to assist others during times of emergencies.

Part B: Elements of the study that may have a negative impact on society 

The selected classic study

The element of the study by Darley & Latané (1968) that may have a negative impact is where the responsibility of helping others is considered to be diffused among all bystanders. When an individual wants to concentrate on what other bystanders need to do to help a victim, he or she may not focus on his or her role in intervening. Individuals may worry about the blame or punishment they may get when they intervene in helping others during emergencies.

The selected modern study

The element of the study by Wilhelm & Bekkers (2010) that may hurt society is the conclusion by the research that empathy is innate. This observation may divide people based on those that are described as “naturally” empathetic and those that “less” caring/empathetic. People must realize that every emergency calls for a different approach. For this reason, only situations can judge whether a person is empathetic or not.

Part C: How the results/conclusions of the study apply to everyday life 

The selected classic study

The study by (Darley & Latané (1968) had found out that a person is usually reluctant to intervene in an emergency when he or she is aware that other onlookers are present. This study assists people in understanding why they should always be ready to help individuals who are strike by problems. This research urges people to be taking individual efforts in helping others at the time of emergencies regardless of the number of bystanders available.

The selected modern study

The study by Wilhelm & Bekkers (2010) had established that stressed on the need for a person to be empathic to the needs of others. The research acknowledges the values of care and empathy in society. Individuals should always be kind and empathic to all people.

Part D: How the study may have influenced events of social change 

The selected classic study

Social change is manifested when members of society are convinced to embrace a specific way of doing things collectively. Darley & Latané (1968) urge people to be taking individual efforts in assisting those in need. A person should take the initiative to intervene in helping the victims of emergencies to save further damage. This attitude has enabled many people in society to minimize the effects of social problems like domestic violence.

The selected modern study

Being emphatic is about putting oneself in the shoes of the victim or the suffering. The study by Wilhelm, M. O., & Bekkers, R. (2010) emphasizes the need for people to be empathetic in order to offer help to victims. Empathy is an essential virtue in minimizing the effects of disasters such as floods or social problems.

Part E: Application of elements of social psychological research in influencing change 

Social workers can assist apply elements of social psychology in assisting their clients to deal with their problems. For instance, when working with clients, the social worker needs to evaluate the cultural strengths of clients to enable them to develop self-belief, self-determination, and self-confidence about their abilities. The social worker can help the clients to recognize the interplay between race and privilege as well as other social constructs which may impact on them. This approach can enable the clients to develop skills in the area of interpersonal influence and performance of social roles. Recognition of structural oppression in the society can make clients accept some underlying causes of such social phenomena and work towards raising their social-belief about their strengths (Raineri & Calcaterra, 2018).

Part F: How social psychological research has changed behavior in society

Social psychological research has enabled people to always be ready to respond in helping those in problems. Individuals have realized that they have the responsibility of minimizing problems in their residential areas for the welfare of everyone. For instance, people intervene during social problems like domestic violence in order to minimize injuries to the victims.

IV. Ethical Considerations 

Part A: Potential ethical issues in the study 

The selected classic study

In the study by Darley & Latané (1968), the participants took part in the experiment over the intercom system instead of a face-to-face method in order to preserve their anonymity. This is an ethical issue because it focuses on preserving confidentiality and the research participants.

The selected modern study 

There are no ethical issues evident in the study by Wilhelm & Bekkers (2010). The study does not mention whether the privacy of the participants was protected.

Part B: How well the study follows the ethical guidelines of its time

The selected classic study

The study by Darley, J. M., & Latané, B. (1968) followed the ethical guidelines of researching in its time since it protected human subjects. The participants of this study took part in the experiment over the intercom system instead of a face-to-face method in order to preserve their anonymity

The selected modern study

The study by Wilhelm, M. O., & Bekkers, R. (2010) had obtained acknowledgment of the Institutional Review Board (IRB). This requirement is in line with the ethical guidelines for conducting modern studies. However, this study failed to provide evidence regarding the protection of human subjects.

Part C: Recommendations for ethically appropriate strategies that can be used in research 

The research should be approved by IRB to ensure it is valid. The research participants should be given an informed consent form to read and understand the value of the study and how they can participate in it. The researcher should use appropriate methods of enhancing the reliability of the study. Reliability refers to the ability of research findings being repeatable. It relates to the consistent test scores (Taylor, Bogdan, & DeVault, 2015). The researcher can enhance the reliability of the study by the use of test-retest reliability to measure consistent results.

References

Aronfreed, J. (1964). The origin of self-criticism. Psychological Review, 71(3), 193.

Darley, J. M., & Latané, B. (1968). Bystander intervention in emergencies: Diffusion of    responsibility. Journal of personality and social psychology, 8(4), 377–383.

Hare, A. P. (1955). Small groups: Studies in social interaction. New York, NY: Prentice.

Hoffman, M. L. (2001). Empathy and moral development: Implications for caring and justice.       Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Milgram, S., & Hollander, P. (1964). The murder they heard. The Nation, 198(15), 602-604.

Miller, G. A. (2003). The cognitive revolution: a historical perspective. Trends in cognitive             sciences, 7(3), 141-144.

Raineri, M. L., & Calcaterra, V. (2018). Social work strategies against crisis in everyday    practice: An anti-oppressive case study. International Social Work, 61(1), 130-142.

Taylor, S. J., Bogdan, R., & DeVault, M. (2015). Introduction to qualitative research methods: A guidebook and resource. John Wiley & Sons.

Wilhelm, M. O., & Bekkers, R. (2010). Helping behavior, dispositional empathic concern, and      the principle of care. Social Psychology Quarterly, 73(1), 11-32.