This article argues that an iconic event in the history of helping research -- the story of the 38 witnesses who remained inactive during the murder of Kitty Genovese -- is not supported by the available evidence. Using archive material, the authors show that there is no evidence for the presence of 38 witnesses, or that witnesses observed the murder, or that witnesses remained inactive. Drawing a distinction between the robust bystander research tradition and the story of the 38 witnesses, the authors explore the consequences of the story for the discipline of psychology. They argue that the story itself plays a key role in psychology textbooks. They also suggest that the story marks a new way of conceptualizing the dangers of immersion in social groups. Finally, they suggest that the story itself has become a modern parable, the telling of which has served to limit the scope of inquiry into emergency helping.
Data provided are for informational purposes only. Although carefully collected, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The impact factor represents a rough estimation of the journal's impact factor and does not reflect the actual current impact factor. Publisher conditions are provided by RoMEO. Differing provisions from the publisher's actual policy or licence agreement may be applicable.
"Almost all texts suggest that the 38 witnesses watched from their windows as the murder unfolded before them. . . All claim that nobody intervened, or called the police, until after Kitty Genovese was dead (Manning et al., 2007, p. 557). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this paper is to discuss the effects of mass media’s ability to rapidly spread sensational messages. With the view that the accuracy or truth of the ‘sensational message’ can change, either evolving naturally within our collective perception or through more deliberate ways, this then presents some scenarios in which ever more flexible notions of truth in the future may provide not only challenges but also opportunities. Using different perspectives but always with a bit of lightheartedness, two events that are separated by half a century and a vast expanse of technological advances are presented as lenses with which to examine our collective obsession of the sensational and how this obsession may influence our perspective as well as our subsequent choices. Looking towards the increasingly connected future, the challenges and economic implications of our susceptibility to sensational media are explored so that in the end, the readers will have gained insights on mass media’s power to flex our notions of truth.
Telematics and Informatics 06/2014; 32(2). DOI:10.1016/j.tele.2014.05.005 · 1.12 Impact Factor
"Such efforts are critical to a healthy discipline. But as others have noted , , claims often persist in the minds of the scientific community or the broader public, even after they have been invalidated by failed replication attempts or further empirical scrutiny. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Social psychology and related disciplines are seeing a resurgence of interest in replication, as well as actual replication efforts. But prior work suggests that even a clear demonstration that a finding is invalid often fails to shake acceptance of the finding. This threatens the full impact of these replication efforts. Here we show that the actions of two key players - journal editors and the authors of original (invalidated) research findings - are critical to the broader public's continued belief in an invalidated research conclusion. Across three experiments, we show that belief in an invalidated finding falls sharply when a critical failed replication is published in the same - versus different - journal as the original finding, and when the authors of the original finding acknowledge that the new findings invalidate their conclusions. We conclude by discussing policy implications of our key findings.
PLoS ONE 09/2013; 8(9):e73364. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0073364 · 3.23 Impact Factor
"9 Based on a close examination of the legal documentation surrounding the case, Manning et al. (2007) debunked the myth that so many people passively observed that murder, but also concluded that research on diffusion of responsibility, and its corollary, the bystander effect, support the psychological principles behind the myth. 10 Specifically, Manning et al. (2007, p. 566) explained that ''the bystander effect [based on diffusion of responsibility theory] has become one of the most robust and reproduced in the discipline'', citing reviews such as Latane and Nida (1981). Diffusion of responsibility suggests that whistleblowing is more likely as the number of individuals aware of the situation decreases. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent financial fraud legislation such as the Dodd–Frank Act and the Sarbanes–Oxley Act (U.S. House of Representatives, Dodd-Frank
Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, [H.R. 4173], 2010; U.S. House of Representatives, The Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002, Public Law 107-204 [H.R. 3763], 2002) relies heavily on whistleblowers for enforcement, and offers protection and incentives for whistleblowers. However, little
is known about many aspects of the whistleblowing decision, especially the effects of contextual and wrongdoing attributes
on organizational members’ willingness to report fraud. We extend the ethics literature by experimentally investigating how
the nature of the wrongdoing and the awareness of those surrounding the whistleblower can influence whistleblowing. As predicted,
we find that employees are less likely to report: (1) financial statement fraud than theft; (2) immaterial than material financial
statement fraud; (3) when the wrongdoer is aware that the potential whistleblower has knowledge of the fraud; and (4) when
others in addition to the wrongdoer are not aware of the fraud. Our findings extend whistleblowing research in several ways.
For instance, prior research provides little evidence concerning the effects of fraud type, wrongdoer awareness, and others’
awareness on whistleblowing intentions. We also provide evidence that whistleblowing settings represent an exception to the
well-accepted theory of diffusion of responsibility. Our participants are professionals who represent the likely pool of potential
whistleblowers in organizations.
Journal of Business Ethics 03/2012; 106(2):213-227. DOI:10.1007/s10551-011-0990-y · 1.33 Impact Factor