Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Haslam I 212 - 13
Helping behavior/group psychology: Behaviour in collective settings can be pro-social or anti-social depending on what kind of identity is salient, and what the content of that identity actually is (Postmes and Spears, 1998)(1). >Helping behavior/social identity theory, (Cf. Haslam 2004)(2); Taifel, 1978(3)), Tajfel and Turner 1979(4).
Mark Levine and Simon Crowther (2008)(5) conducted two interrelated experiments that manipulated both the salience of social identities and the number of bystanders who witnessed an attack by a man on a woman. Male and female participants were recruited to take part in a study about gender and violence.
Specifically, women feel more able to intervene when they have other women around them, but are less inclined to do so when the other bystanders are men.
Men are most likely to say they will intervene when they are the minority in a group (…). When men are in a group with other men they are not inhibited from intervening, but when they are surrounded by women the likelihood of intervention seems to be enhanced.
there was a clear interaction between group size and identity – such that the presence of more bystanders inhibited helping under some conditions, but facilitated it in others. Cf. >Bystander effect/Darley/Latané, >Bystander effect/Psychological theories.


1. Postmes, T. and Spears, R. (1998) ‘Deindividuation and anti-normative behaviour: A meta-analysis’, Psychological Bulletin, 123: 238–59.
2. Haslam, S.A. (2004) Psychology in Organizations: The Social Identity Approach, 2nd edn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
3. Tajfel, H. (ed.) (1978) Differentiation Between Social Groups: Studies in the Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations. London: Academic Press.
4. Tajfel, H. and Turner, J.C. (1979) ‘An integrative theory of intergroup conflict’, in W.G. Austin and S. Worchel (eds), The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole. pp. 33–48.
5. Levine, M. and Crowther, S. (2008) ‘The responsive bystander: How social group membership and group size can encourage as well as inhibit bystander intervention’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95: 1429–39.


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.
Group Psychology
Haslam I
S. Alexander Haslam
Joanne R. Smith
Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2017


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