Why can’t we just ask? The influence of research methods on results. The case of the “bystander effect”

Polish Psychological Bulletin 47 (2):233-235 (2016)
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Abstract

The article discusses the issue of the departure from examining real behaviours in a real environment, a trend in social psychology which has been observed going back several years, and the impact of this phenomenon for social psychology as a scientific discipline. The article presents two studies on the well-known and explored “bystander effect”. This phenomenon is examined in two ways – once by way of a “traditional” field experiment conducted in natural conditions, and once through a survey. As it turned out, the results generated by the two studies were diametrically opposite, and only in the field experiment were we able to achieve a pattern of results consistent with those in the original studies.

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