Warmup: Now with our knowledge of the concepts of prosocial behaviour, altruism, and bystanderism we are going to look at ways in which we could study helping behaviour or not helping behaviour in different cultures. Read the handout on Cross-cultural differences in prosocial behaviour (Law et al 257-258): What did Levine et al find out? What did Whiting and Whiting discover? What are the values and limitations of these studies?
As you watch the video, consider the validity of the study. Can you find some flaws? What is missing? How many people should be tested to make it valid? Are there other variables that were not mentioned? Are there biases?
Brainstorming: Make some assumptions first before starting your investigation: What country’s people or what ethnic group do you think are more likely to help? Individualist or collectivist cultures? What gender? What age group? What factors are influencing them to help?
Now with a partner answer the following questions:
1. How does a researcher measure prosocial behaviour?
2. Can we translate behaviours across cultures?
3. Can we really generalize about an entire culture?
4. Can we attribute meaning to a person’s refusal to help?
5. Should all research be done in the field in a naturalistic setting to ensure ecological validity?
Task: With a partner design a study that will test helping behaviour across two different cultures. Choose a specific helping behaviour that you are going to focus on (be original), and justify your decision. How would you overcome the possible problems in identified in questions 1-5 above? This part of the research process is called the Method and we are looking for you to design the study/experiment and describe the procedure of how you would conduct it. Answer who, what, when, where, why and how as you plan. How many participants do you need? How are you going to collect and collate the data? We will have class time today and Monday to work on it and present our ideas to the class on Tuesday for feedback.