Genovese Case and the Bystander Effect

In the tragic crime, a young woman (Kitty Genovese) was assaulted by a man in a location where many people could see and hear what was going on; all they had to do was look out of their apartment windows. Yet, despite the fact that the attacker continued to assault the victim for many minutes, and even left and then returned to continue the assault later, not a single person reported the crime to the police. When news of this tragic crime hit the media, there was much speculation about the widespread selfishness and indifference of people in general or, at least, of people living in big cities (Baron & Branscombe, 2012, p. 297).  The case of Genovese murder is cited in most social psychology textbooks and is often discussed in classrooms.  This case is commonly referred to as Genovese Syndrome, the bystander effect, diffusion of responsibility, or social laziness.

Lose Fear - Way to Resist Mind Manipulation

Fear is your foe – no other way to describe it.  I’m not discussing that natural life maintaining action along with a major boost of adrenaline that occurs if a wild animal is coming at you.  I’m discussing the fears individuals live with day in and day out.

Somebody once described fear as, “Sand in the machinery of life.”  Fear doesn’t assist you, it hampers you.  Fear doesn’t get you through an open doorway; it keeps you in the hall.  Fear never helps you put your better foot forward; it simply keeps both of your feet in concrete.

How the “Nazi Hate Primers” Prepared and Conditioned the Minds of German Youth to Hate Jews

According to Miller (2004), good people may be recruited into evil through education or socialization processes that are sanctioned by the government in power, enacted within school programs, and supported by parents and teachers. A prime example is the way in which German children in the 1930s and 1940s were systematically indoctrinated to hate Jews, to view them as the all-purpose enemy of the new (post–World War I) German nation. Space limitations do not allow full documentation of this process, but I touch on several examples of one way in which governments are responsible for sanctioning evil.

Theory of Counterfactual Thinking

when psychologists asked college students to rate the “happiness” of medal winners at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, they found that rater agreement was very high (Medvec, Madey, & Gilovich, 1995). They also found, somewhat counter-intuitively, that bronze (third place) medal winners were perceived as happier than silver (second place) medal winners, a finding that was explained by a theory of counterfactual thinking. Apparently, people are happier just making it (to the medal stand) than they are just missing it (i.e., missing a gold medal).

Shaughnessy, J. J., Zechmeister, E. B., & Zechmeister, J. S.(2012). Research methods in psychology (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor symptoms such as bradykinesia, rigidity, tremor, gait dysfunction, and postural instability, as well as nonmotor symptoms such as cognitive impairment and mood disorders, among others. Symptoms of PD worsen with time, leading to a general decrease in activity and an altered quality of life with increased risk of falling, immobility, and cognitive impairment (Morris, Huxham, McGinley, Dodd, & Iansek, 2001; Olanow, Stern, & Sethi, 2009). To date, there is no neuroprotective strategy available for PD.

Reference

Lamotte, G., Skender, E., Rafferty, M. R., David, F. J., Sadowsky, S., & Corcos, D. M. (2015). Effects of Progressive Resistance Exercise Training on the Motor and Nonmotor Features of Parkinson's Disease: A Review. Kinesiology Review, 4(1), 11-27.

Moral vs. Ethical

Both words, moral and ethical, describe human behavior in reference to right and wrong. Modern usage assigns moral to behavior dictated by internal standards and ethical to behavior dictated by external standards. Sometimes the two types of behavior coincide. For example, taking a child away from abusive parents is both moral and ethical. Sending a child back to abusive parents for legal reasons is ethical, but not moral.

Linear Regression

Linear regression and its generalization, the linear model, are in very common use in statistics. For example, Jennrich (1984) wrote, “I have long been a proponent of the following unified field theory for statistics: Almost al l of statistics is linear regression, and most of what is left over is non-linear re- gression.” This is hardly surprising when we consider that linear regression focuses on estimating the first derivative of relationships between variables, that is, rates of change. The most common uses to which the linear regression model is put are

1. to enable prediction of a random variable at specific combinations of other variables;
2. to estimate the effect of one or more variables upon a random variable; and
3. to nominate a subset of variables that is most influential upon a random variable.

Linear regression provides a statistical answer to the question of how a target variable (usually called the response or dependent variable) is related to one or more other variables (usually called the predictor or independent variables). Linear regression both estimates and assesses the strength of the statistical patterns of covariation. However, it makes no comment on the causal strength of any pattern that it identifies.

Reference

Hilbe, J. M., & Robinson, A. P. (2013). Methods of statistical model estimation. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Qualitative vs. Quantitative Data

The terms qualitative and quantitative have a variety of connotations in the social sciences. For example, a qualitative research approach or mind - set means taking an inductive and open - ended approach in research and broadening questions as the research evolves. Qualitative data are typically words or visual images whereas quantitative data are typically numbers. The most common qualitative data collection methods are interviews other than highly structured interviews, focus groups, and participant observation. Open - ended responses to survey questions can provide qualitative data as well. The most common sources of quantitative data are administrative records and structured surveys conducted via Internet and mail. Mixed - method approaches in evaluation are very common, and that means that both quantitative and qualitative data are used, and quantitative and qualitative data collection methods are used in combination. The extent to which an evaluation uses more quantitative or more qualitative methods and seeks more quantitative or more qualitative data should be driven by the questions the evaluation needs to answer and the audiences for the work (Wholey, Hatry, & Newcomer, 2010).

Reference

Wholey, J. S., Hatry, H. P., & Newcomer, K. E. (2010). Handbook of practical program evaluation (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Deception in Research

Deception is a topic that has received considerable attention and been the subject of much debate (EPP, 8.07; CE, G.2). Deception in psychological research refers to misinforming or withholding information from potential participants about the nature of the experiment or the procedures involved in the study. Thus, deception refers to misrepresenting the facts pertaining to a study, through acts of either omission or commission. For instance, an investigator might omit or withhold some information about a study and thus disguise the true nature of the study in some way; or the researcher might purposefully provide false or misleading information, an act of commission, to deceive the participant in some way. Either way, the thorny issues of deception revolve around the fundamental ethical principles of autonomy, fidelity, and, to some extent, nonmaleficence (Heppner, Wampold, & Kivlighan, 2008).
Reference

Heppner, P. P., Wampold, B. E., & Kivlighan, Jr., D. M. (2008). Research Design in Counseling (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education.

Peer Review

Postpositivism recognizes that there is bias in the scientific process, and that the conclusions researchers make are influenced by the person of the researcher. Truths are not self-evident but must be arbitrated by the scientific community. The process of peer review is an admission that the validity of a conclusion is open to interpretation, and that it is scientists’ opinions about the veracity of a claim that dictate whether or not a result adds to the cumulative knowledge of a field. Clearly, there are canons that must be followed (that is, the study must be valid) if a study is to be conclusive, but it is scientists, rather than some algorithm, who determine whether the conclusions add to knowledge (Heppner, Wampold, & Kivlighan, 2008).

References

Heppner, P. P., Wampold, B. E., & Kivlighan, Jr., D. M. (2008). Research Design in Counseling (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education.