Darley and Latane Essay

439 Words2 Pages
Latane and Darley (1968) conducted an experiment to determine a person’s response time to an emergency and how their social environment influences it. They conducted this experiment because a previous study was done that had displayed when people are alone they are more likely to intervene in an emergency than when other people who did not intervene or in a group of naïve people who want to intervene but just are confused as to what to do. The major question they were attempting to answer was how do people react in the state of an emergency? Do they conform to what other is doing when surrounded by people or do they react solely based off instinct? In the current experiment Latane and Darley (1968) had students from Columbia University come to what the participants thought would be an interview. They placed the students in a room and gave them a questionnaire. When the male got to about the second page, the experimenter began producing smoke from a vent. They were testing the response time of when the person or group got up to report this emergency to someone. The males were divided into three groups; those who were alone, those who were placed with two people that did not react and were a part of the experiment, and then three males who were all students and were not aware of the situation. Of those participants who were alone 75% reported the emergency before the experiment was terminated. Of those who were placed with two non-reacting others, only 10% reported the emergency before the experiment was terminated Of the group of three students only in about 38% of the eight groups did even one person respond before the experiment was over. From this experiment, one can conclude that the social environment really does affect a person’s response. If a person is within a group that does not react the individual may feel as though the situation is not an emergency
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