Questions to Ponder for Darley & Batson and Isen & Levin
1. Our behaviors are not always consistent with our attitudes. Sometimes the actual reasons for our behaviors are not the same as the reasons we report. What examples of these phenomena have you seen in the chapter on conformity and the accompanying readings?
2. What kinds of sex differences would you expect in helping behaviors? Would you expect females and males to help in different ways? How so?
3. What role does empathy play in helping? How can we interrupt that empathy? (Hint--look to the Darley & Batson article).
4. What are the consequences to the person who receives help (hint--this may help address the mystifying question so many women ask: Why men won't stop and ask for directions?)
5. Try this: Stand somewhere in Eugene--on the U of O campus, downtown, in a neighborhood--and open up a map of the city. Time how long you stand there studying the map before someone offers you help (or you get tired of waiting). Record who helps you (male/female, approximate age, alone or in a group). Also make note of other variables (your gender, if you were with someone--and that person's apparent relationship to you, what you were wearing, etc.) Be prepared to discuss your results in class.
6. Who were the subjects in Darley and Batson's study? What were they on their way to do?
7. What was the independent variable in the Darley and Batson study? What was the dependent variable? What did the researchers find?
8. According to Isen and Levin's study, what is another factor that influences people's likelihood of helping? Does it affect all kinds of willingness to help, or just some kinds of helping? (Hint: Think about what the two independent variables are in Isen and Levin's Study I--one of these variables is relevant to this question).
9. Isen and Levin operationalize their dependent variable in two different ways in Study I. What is the theoretical dependent variable, and what are the two different ways they operationalize it?
10. Is a helpful model necessary for people to be induced to help? How do Isen and Levin address this question in their second study? What is the independent variable in this study? The dependent variable?