Thursday, May 21, 2020

852: Social Psychology....

For me, social psychology raises a lot of questions. In fact, the so-called famous examples of its findings are not at all good examples.
Zimbardo of the Stanford Prison Experiment manipulated the participants in the experiment and rigged the data 
to obtain the result he wanted to obtain: Putting on a uniform will turn you into a beast and sadist if the circumstances are right.
Milgram said to have proven, that most people are docile sheep when put under pressure by an authority,
but to come to that conclusion he had to smooth out the data and for instance leave out the fact, that 56% of the participants didn't believe, that the experiment was real.
Our starting point is the assumption, that most people are OK and we have seen a lot of confirmation of this assumption.
And these social psychologists made headlines with showing that most people are NOT OK. The eagerness to assume that we are bad by nature has such deep roots in our minds.
It is March 13, 1964. At 3:19 A.M a young woman, Kitty Genovese, is stabbed to death in Queens, New York. It was one of the 636 murders of that year in New York.
Life went on, but two weeks later it reached the pages of the New York Times yet with the headline: "37 Who Saw Murder Didn't Call the Police"
The first paragraph of the article: -OUOTE_ For more than half an hour, 38 respectable, law-abiding citizens in Queens 
saw a murderer chasing and stabbing a woman during three separate attacks at Kew Gardens. -END QUOTE-
A columnist noted that the American people had become "hard-hearted, dastardly, and immoral."

It became worldwide news. Not the murder, but the words of one of the witnesses: "I didn't want to get involved" and therefor he hadn't called the police.
The analysis that got the most hearing came from Abe Rosenthal, chief of The New York Times and one of the most important journalists of his generation. 
He wrote, "What happened in the apartments and houses of Austin Street was a symptom of a terrible truth about the human condition."
Here again the willingness to accept that most people are NOT OK and that when it comes down to it, we are alone. Nobody will help you. People are indifferent.
In social psychology this is know as "The bystander effect". Two social psychologists John M. Darley and Bibb Latané in 1968 did experiments after they became interested in the topic following the murder of Kitty Genovese in 1964.
In a typical experiment, the participant is either alone or among a group of other participants or confederates. 
An emergency situation is staged and researchers measure how long it takes the participants to intervene, if they intervene. 
These experiments have found that the presence of others inhibits helping, often by a large margin.
Thus the conclusion was, that in case of an emergency the more bystanders you have around, the longer it takes, before someone takes action.
Next lecture we'll analyze whether this assumption holds or not.
Thank you for your attention again....

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rutger Bregman, "De meeste mensen deugen",, 2019

The Discussion

[13:20] herman Bergson: What do you think....will the assumption hold or not?
[13:20] herman Bergson hears deep silence and thinking :-)
[13:20] CB Axel: I was taught that when starting CPR and you wanted someone in a crowd to call for help, you should point to one person and say, "You! Go for help."
[13:21] iמʞαʞů (inkaku.capalini): i think it depends on the emergency but for the most part it will definitely hold true.
[13:21] CB Axel: Otherwise everyone will assume someone else will do it.
[13:21] herman Bergson: Interesting observations of you two
[13:21] CB Axel: I never got to test that, since I was the help people called.
[13:22] CB Axel: When the paramedics start calling for help they lose the confidence of the people around them. :)
[13:22] herman Bergson: you could have been a bystander somewhere, CB
[13:22] CB Axel: Now, of course, everyone has a cell phone. You just have to get one of them to stop recording the incident and make the call.
[13:23] iמʞαʞů (inkaku.capalini): hahaha
[13:23] herman Bergson: indeed!
[13:24] herman Bergson: But the main point here is of course that the theory of the Bystander Effect is found in almost all psychology books....
[13:24] herman Bergson: and its real effect is that it makes us look bad as human beings....
[13:25] herman Bergson: inkaku is closest to understand  reality in this matter
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): people are unsure how to act correctly. This Sunday I was out walking with my dance buddies after our usual 3 hour run and then saw a drunk guy falling over. We helped him but I surely assessed the situation before, was the guy nice or could he be violent (turned out he was nice but depressed and thus had taken to the bottle) we then together pulled in a police car and then they helped him.
[13:26] CB Axel: Well done, Bejiita. You're a good person.
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): once I got the state of the guy it was no problem but you often think 2 times nowadays, like is he violent, can he have a weapon, because that  happens too
[13:26] herman Bergson: Yes help
[13:26] Jack Lust (jacklust): I think it is also very difficult to simplify it to a point "will they" or "won't they" respond, there are so many factors to consider
[13:26] herman Bergson: give away the clue for Thursday (inkaku did it too)
[13:26] iמʞαʞů (inkaku.capalini): wooooo
[13:26] herman Bergson: the theory is partly bogus
[13:26] CB Axel: BTW, if a drunk person falls over, don't pick them up while waiting for assistance. They'll just fall over again.
[13:27] CB Axel: You can't fall off the ground.
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:27] herman Bergson: Good advise CB....:-)
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I helped as good as I could and the police was thankful we did too
[13:28] CB Axel: Also, bar stools need seatbelts.
[13:28] herman Bergson: lol
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I hope it went well for that guy, a said he wa really nice, just a bit unhappy with his life
[13:28] herman Bergson: and free helmets at the entrance
[13:28] CB Axel: Good idea. :)
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): is it wise to help in these corona days?
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): shouldn't we be careful?
[13:29] herman Bergson: outdoors, I'd say yes Beertje
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I never touched him or got really close
[13:29] CB Axel: If you are masked and wash your hands before touching your face afterwards you should be ok.
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but checked that he was ok together with my friends and talked with him trying to cheer him up
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and it seemed to have an effect
[13:30] CB Axel: The fact that you stopped to help must have made him feel a little better. :)
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:31] herman Bergson: Doesn't it show that most people are OK....? :-)
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I hope as said it went well for him now
[13:31] CB Axel: It shows that Bejiita and his friends are ok. :)
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): me, this Mario dude and some others
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we are a nice group for sure
[13:32] herman Bergson: Yes....and I have learned that when I had an idea, for instance some computer program, it already was invented....
[13:32] herman Bergson: I an individual I am not, nor is Bejiita, an exception, we are the common thing, the rule
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I still work on my android golf score app even there are many already to ake my own version and learn how to code for android
[13:33] herman Bergson: But so often is the exception claimed to be the rule
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the biggest issue for me with that is the emulator used for debugging eats all memory and crashes the computer
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): why did they make it like that and they have NEVER tried to fix it which is why I never make any progress on the android part
[13:34] CB Axel: So, that's 7.8 billion minus you, Bejiita, and his friends that may or may not be ok. :)
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:35] herman Bergson: Even when something is already invented it is creativity that drives us to yet invent it again...just for the fun of it
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like me trying to make my own verion of MYST, but it is just based on the story also, ill put my own ideas in there
[13:36] herman Bergson: Indeed...^_^
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I just use the concept and ideas I get while playing through the box meanwhile, a nice combo
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): play and recreate
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): im on Riven at the moment
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ik denk wel eens, zal ik eens wat denken..maar dan denk ik..alles is al gedacht....
[13:37] herman Bergson: So, I still maintain that most people are ok
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:37] herman Bergson: lol...Beertje
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :))
[13:38] herman Bergson: Beertje said...I sometimes think, shall I think something .. but then I think .. everything has already been thought ....
[13:38] herman Bergson: A personal experience....
[13:38] CB Axel: LOL
[13:38] herman Bergson: When I was a student of philosophy I had a notebook....
[13:39] herman Bergson: In it I wrote all my terrific and splendid philosophical thoughts...
[13:39] herman Bergson: then after three years, I specialized in Analytical Philosophy....
[13:39] herman Bergson: And guess what.....
[13:40] herman Bergson: I had to discover that all those splendid philosophical ideas I had written down were already thought :-))
[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont):
[13:40] herman Bergson: But it didn't frustrate or disappointed me at all....
[13:41] Jack Lust (jacklust): it's good to know people agree with you
[13:41] herman Bergson: I felt confirmed in the idea that I was in touch with the philosophical culture of my time
[13:41] CB Axel nods
[13:41] herman Bergson: Ahhh...that too Jack:-)
[13:41] herman Bergson: Popper and Wittgenstein agreed with me ^_^
[13:42] Jack Lust (jacklust): or you with them, I suppose
[13:42] herman Bergson: yes...was mutual love :-)
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): you are as brilliant as Popper and Wittgenstein
[13:42] herman Bergson: lol
[13:42] herman Bergson: Just to know that you never had a single original thought :-)
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that's true
[13:43] herman Bergson: That is important.....
[13:43] herman Bergson: It shows that we share.....
[13:43] herman Bergson: That we have eachother
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:43] herman Bergson: That we are OK :-)
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont):
[13:44] herman Bergson: Indeed :-)
[13:45] herman Bergson: I think this is a good start to head for Thursday and our conclusion.....:-)
[13:45] herman Bergson: Thank you all again for your participation...
[13:45] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...
[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:45] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:45] Jack Lust (jacklust): thanks Herman
[13:45] CB Axel: See you all Thursday.
[13:45] bergfrau Apfelbaum: Thank you! nice and good group!
[13:45] herman Bergson: unless you have that life saving question or remark :-))
[13:45] iמʞαʞů (inkaku.capalini): thank you Herman~!
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time all
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): bye for now
[13:46] herman Bergson: Take care Bejiita
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye bejiita

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