Actions Speak Louder Than Words essay

Topics: Bystander effect, Gang, Kitty Genovese Pages: 4 (1460 words) Published: April 24, 2013
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
It is difficult, if not impossible, to maneuver through life being oblivious to reality. This must leave a person unprepared for potential risks or obstacles that occur without any notice. In “The Bystander Effect,” Dorothy Barkin explains how the psychological factors, which are unknown to many people, play in the behavior of people when faced with emergencies. The two main factors that should be addressed are level of ambiguity and moral diffusion. In Martin Gansburg’s essay “Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder Didn't Call the Police,” he gives an account of a senseless death that could have been avoided if any one person had simply made a call from the safety of their apartment. Gansburg’s point is clear that people need to be more concerned and involved with their environment and those with whom they share their environment. In the article, “Five Charged in Gang Rape of Girl, 7, in NJ Apartment,” co-authors Angela Delli Santi and Beth Defalco stress how critical it is for citizens to overcome their fear of retaliation so they can have a positive impact on their safety and that of their neighbors. Education is an important tool for improving individual and public reaction to emergencies or crisis.

Rather than waiting for things to happen, people should make things happen which directly impacts others destiny and the destiny of those around them. The Genovese murder sparked much research with findings indicating the lack of involvement of bystanders is not just a symptom of an uncaring society (172). Social scientists found that it is a complex set of psychological factors. In Barkin’s essay she points out two very important factors, which are the level of ambiguity and the principle of moral diffusion. Several aspects of a situation can cause it to be ambiguous to a witness, such as the time of the day or night, how clearly a witness can view the event and his or her confusion or assumption as to what is actually...
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