When deciding whether to help other people, there are different types of factors which can effect a person’s decision. One type of these factors is that of situational factors. Four of these situational factors are time, presence of others, relationship to the person in need and training.
In general individuals are more likely to help a person in need when they are not in a rush. For example, if you see someone requiring assistance as you a running late for a meeting, some people would choose to go to the meeting and not stop to help .Another factor is that of presence of others. If there are other people present this allows the individual to believe that the person in need will receive help from someone else. For example if you see a car broken down on a deserted road you are more likely to stop and help than if you see a car broken down on a busy highway .

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The third situational factor is that of the relationship to the person in need. If the individual has a person connection to the individual in need they are more likely to help. For example, people will help a close family friend move, but would not necessarily help a stranger . The final situational factor is training and experience. If an individual has specific training they are more likely to stop and help. For example, someone with medical training is often more likely to stop and help someone in a medical crisis . Overall there are many factors which can influence a person’s decision to help another individual in need. As such it can be difficult to predict a person’s behaviour unless all of these factors are known.

  • Dovidio, J. F., Piliavin, J. A., Schroeder, D. A., & Penner, L. (2006). The social psychology of prosocial behavior: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.