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Decision Model of Helping

  • By: Stephen M. Garcia & Bryan J. Harrison
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)
Definition

The decision model of helping, introduced in The Unresponsive Bystander by Bibb Latané and John Darley, outlines a process of five steps that will determine whether a bystander will act or not in a helping situation. This model is also intended to offer a counterargument to the proposition that people do not help in emergencies simply because they become apathetic. As Latané and Darley suggest, an individual's interpretation of the emergency may be more influential than the individual's general motivation when it comes to his or her actions in an emergency. The decision model of helping outlines the five steps to helping behavior. First, the bystander must recognize a problem. If perceived as a problem, the second step requires the interpretation of the problem as ...

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