Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Haslam I 201
City dweller/homo urbanis/Terminology/Latané/Darley: After a murder in New York in March 1964 that 38 witnesses had observed from their homes without calling the police, Darley wrote that we needed to think about a new kind of man, ‘homo urbanis’, the city dweller, who cared only for himself. (Darley in Evans, 1980(1): 216).
Haslam I 205
Latané and Darley identified two processes that they suggested served to inhibit intervention in emergency situations (>Experiment/Darley): A. diffusion of responsibility and B. pluralistic ignorance.
A. Diffusion of responsibility refers to the idea that as the number of other people present in a given situation increases, the responsibility that a given individual feels for responding to that situation is correspondingly diminished.
B. Pluralistic ignorance refers to the idea that the presence of other people who remain inactive or seem unconcerned during an event can dissuade or discourage an individual from intervention, even though they might have felt concerned by the situation.


1.Evans, R.I. (1980) The Making of Social Psychology. New York: Gardner Press.


Mark Levine, „ Helping in Emergencies. Revisiting Latané and Darley’s bystander studies“, in: Joanne R. Smith and S. Alexander Haslam (eds.) 2017. Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic studies. London: Sage Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Latané, Bibb
Haslam I
S. Alexander Haslam
Joanne R. Smith
Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2017


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