Bystander Effect

Topics: Bystander effect, Kitty Genovese, Psychology Pages: 2 (636 words) Published: October 14, 2012
THE BYSTANDER EFFECT

The bystander effect is the name given to a social psychological phenomenon in cases where individuals do not offer help in an emergency situation when other people are present. It is a situational ambiguity; when we are confused about a situation and unconsciously interpret the event as if nothing is happening unusual. Some researchers have found that onlookers are less likely to intervene if the situation is ambiguous. We usually develop an illusion of normality. Because of the ignorance of other people in emergency situation; we also feel that nothing is so serious and it will be fine. One major factor of bystander effect is busy life and too much introvert behaviour. We rarely give a thought to stop and judge the situation and react accordingly. Some researchers have found that onlookers are less likely to intervene if the situation is ambiguous.

There are couple of more reasons which are cause of bystander effect. One of them is feeling of being unqualified to interfere in such situation. We think that our knowledge for such situation is not enough to jump into and a fear arises inside which pushes us away from the situation. Because in first place we always want to put ourself in safe place. Also, we generally try to look the behaviour of other people to get tan idea of seriousness of the situation , other people’s reaction or action in emergency situation usually effects our thinking . This is called as social proof which we look for before getting into the situation. Social influence on our mind is the factor which plays critical role in our life.

There are two major factors that contribute to the bystander effect. First, the presence of other people creates a diffusion of responsibility. Because there are other observers, individuals do not feel as much pressure to take action, since the responsibility to take action is thought to be shared among all of those present.The second reason...
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