The Kitty Genovese case was an intriguing one. Kew Garden’s residents were aware of the horrendous attack but not one of them did anything until it was too late. As the killer, Winston Mosley, stabbed Kitty some onlookers shouted for him to leave her alone. After the first stab he ran but then returned to finish her off. Social psychologists feel that since the number of bystanders was so large, it decreased the fact that someone would help her. The bystanders recognized that no one else was helping and thus they were reluctant to step in and do anything themselves. The onlookers felt that other people may know what to do better than they do.
They were not sure of their ability to help while people were standing around them. This is better known as the bystander effect (Cherry, 2010). When I think of sociologist, I know springs from people’s thoughts at that time. From a sociologist point of view the crowd was letting society shape. People were standing back and disconnecting themselves from the situation and allowing it to manifest; more like the strong will survive. They felt that it was so many people standing by that they allowed an event to occur that they wouldn’t allow to occur if they were alone.
Their relationship with the victim was less important than what they were currently thinking or feeling. Often people need explicit instruction as to what is expected from them when in a social emergency such as this (Small, 2010). From one stand point, a personality psychologist may feel the neighbor’s mindset was not one of a compassionate person. Their thoughts and feelings may be of a selfish person or one that lacked courage. A personality psychologist may also feel that they acted based on the actions of those around them. Another theory is that they were passive due to being exposed to this often.
They could have also been afraid that their attempt at rescue would be inadequate and therefore do nothing (Cherry, 2010). References Cherry, Kendra (2010) About. com: What is bystander effect? Accessed May 5th, 2010 from Web at http://psychology. about. com/od/socialpsychology/a/bystandereffect. htm Small, Albion, W. (2010) Broku: University of Chicago. Accessed May 5th, 2010 from Web at http://www. brocku. ca/MeadProject/Small/Small_1897b. html Cherry, Kendra (2010) About. com: Personality Psychology. Accessed May 5th, 2010 from Web at http://psychology. about. com/od/socialpsychology/a/bystandereffect. htm
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