Out of all the things that I have learned in psychology this year, the topic that stands out the most for me is the bystander effect. This means that when there is an public emergency situation, people often find themselves wanting to help, but they become frozen in place and unable to help. I have witnessed this firsthand when I was on an airplane to Europe a few years ago with my family. A flight attendant came over the loudspeaker in the middle of the flight and asked if there was a doctor on the plane. My dad is a doctor, but he was hesitant to get up and help because he figured that there would be many other people that would offer their help. However, after no one got up to do anything my dad stood up to help the person in trouble. I think that this is interesting because even though my dad is a doctor and deals with patients everyday, he was still hesitant to help the person on the plane because he believed that there would be plenty of other people to help. In this case, it was good that he decided to help the woman because no one else offered their help. Also, one would think that on commercial flight there would be more than one doctor on the whole plane. As the textbook states, there is a danger rather than a safety in numbers. This could be due to the diffusion of responsibility. This means that when there are other people around, people feel less responsible for the outcome of the situation. If my dad had not helped the person on the plane and she ended up getting more sick or even dying, he could have felt that it was not his fault since no one else had helped either. I know I can speak for most people when I say that we all want to believe that we would not fall victim to the bystander effect, but chances are most of us would.
lunde308: April 2012 Archives
Is it true that in large families the latter born children are less intelligent? Many studies have suggested birth order can affect a person's personality, however is this a valid statement? Studies suggest that first born children are more likely to reach achievement, middle borns are more likely to have a knack for dealing with people, and third borns are more likely to be risk takers. In my family there are three children including myself. My brother has been known for his intelligence and has always been a high achiever. I am the third child in my family and I do tend to be the most adventurous. However, just because I sometimes engage in risky activities does not mean that I will not achieve or just because my brother is smart does not mean he will not engage in risky activities. Many researchers have recently wondered whether being a first born or third born really matters, or if it depends on the number of children in your family. Researchers have found that the more children there are in a family, the more likely that the latter born children are going to be less intelligent than the first-born children. This may be due to genetics or environmental factors. Going along with the first claim, a study in Norway found that first born children are more likely to gravitate towards other first born children, middle born children are more likely to gravitate towards other middle born children, and third born children are more likely to gravitate towards other third born children. Many say that people are more likely to spend time with people of similar interests as them. Their study suggests that people of the same birth orders are likely to be friends with each other because their personalities are similar. In this case, they are suggesting that correlation does imply causation, however there is not enough evidence to support these claims. It seems to me that these claims are so popular because of coincidences. Do you think that birth order affects personality?