Author Topic: Kitty Genovese  (Read 148 times)

Gloucester

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Kitty Genovese
« on: February 27, 2017, 07:45:16 PM »
When I was doing the psychology unitt of my prep-for-uni  iurse in 2004 the case of the murder of Kitty Genovese, and the theory of the "bystander effect" that came from it, was one of the examples used.

Kitty was murdered by stabbing because she simply happened to be there when a random killer arrived. We were told how 38 passers by took no action whatsoever - the theory being the more people that witness a crime the more assume another has taken action.

It is 0230 and, sleepless, I turned on the radio to hear an interview with Bill Genovese, Kitty's younger brother. Seems Bill was precocious and Kitty was very intelligent, from age 6 he asked questions and she found answers.

The murder affected the whole family, of course, but it also determined Bill's behaviour, in an humanitarian way, when he served in Vietnam (where he lost both legs). It also seems that, at a later court case involving the killer, that his resesrch showed that a neighbour did in fact try to help Kitty and another called the police - who took inadequate action. He said that knowing this would have helped his family come to terms with the death, Kitty did not die alone.

Hearing this story brought a "sterile" objective example of human behaviour into real life. It also showed that the story told in that lesson was not actually the  full truth, the theory was not based on the real story but on the version that grew from the press reports.

I was touched deep down.

Here is another version.

Quote
The bystander effect, or bystander apathy, is a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present. The probability of help inversely related to the number of bystanders.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 08:31:22 PM by Gloucester »
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Arturo

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Re: Kitty Genovese
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2017, 12:54:04 AM »
When I was doing the psychology unitt of my prep-for-uni  iurse in 2004 the case of the murder of Kitty Genovese, and the theory of the "bystander effect" that came from it, was one of the examples used.

Kitty was murdered by stabbing because she simply happened to be there when a random killer arrived. We were told how 38 passers by took no action whatsoever - the theory being the more people that witness a crime the more assume another has taken action.

It is 0230 and, sleepless, I turned on the radio to hear an interview with Bill Genovese, Kitty's younger brother. Seems Bill was precocious and Kitty was very intelligent, from age 6 he asked questions and she found answers.

The murder affected the whole family, of course, but it also determined Bill's behaviour, in an humanitarian way, when he served in Vietnam (where he lost both legs). It also seems that, at a later court case involving the killer, that his resesrch showed that a neighbour did in fact try to help Kitty and another called the police - who took inadequate action. He said that knowing this would have helped his family come to terms with the death, Kitty did not die alone.

Hearing this story brought a "sterile" objective example of human behaviour into real life. It also showed that the story told in that lesson was not actually the  full truth, the theory was not based on the real story but on the version that grew from the press reports.

I was touched deep down.

Here is another version.

Quote
The bystander effect, or bystander apathy, is a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present. The probability of help inversely related to the number of bystanders.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect

I think I've been a victim of that when some guy pushed a girl when I was in 9th grade. There was also another girl who fainted in the doorway of a classroom and everyone just sat there. But I think I'm better about it now.
But, uh...well there it is.

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