Psychology Current Affairs

Topics: Bystander effect, Kitty Genovese, Psychology Pages: 3 (925 words) Published: October 16, 2013


Where is Superman?
Danielle Davis
Wilbur Wright College
On December 3rd, 2013 a man by the name of Ki-Suck Han was struck by a train in the late afternoon at the Time Square Substation. After having an altercation with Naeem Davis, a homeless man of the age of 30, Han was pushed down onto the tracks by Naeem Davis. Surrounded by several witnesses, Han seeing the oncoming train, pleaded for help and tried to lift himself off the tracks and back onto the platform. Instead of helping, those around him, instead stood there, pressed a few buttons on their phones (probably less than they would have in comparison of calling 911) and proceeded to record the incident before Han was impacted by the train. As Han’s struggled and pleaded for help for what was reported to be a full 22 seconds, witnesses watched, took pictures, and failed to come to his assistance (Petrecca & Eversley, 2012). R. Umar Abbasi, a man who was employed as a photographer at the New York Post was there for the incident of this crime. Instead of helping Han, Abbasi made the claim that he was using the flash of his camera to inform the conductor to stop the train. "I just started running, running, hoping that the driver could see my flash," he told the Post. As Han’s stood there in fear, he literally watched his life flash before his eyes. Similar cases have been reported throughout time, one of the most acknowledgeable being the Kitty Genovese case. A women who was repeatedly stabbed to death and offered no assistance after several witnesses heard her pleas and screams and failed to act. In cases such as these, one has to wonder if we are safer in public places or if it is the equivalent of being by ourselves in a dark alley way. This denial of help is known as the bystander affect. Psychology Today defines the bystander affect as an occurrence “when the presence of others hinders an individual from intervening in an emergency situation”. One can’t fathom the idea of not helping...

References: "Bystander Effect." Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2013.
Ciccarelli, Saundra K., J. Noland. White, and Saundra K. Ciccarelli. Psychology: An Exploration. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2010. Print.
Petrecca, Laura, and Melaine Eversley. "Should NY Post Have Printed Photo of Man about to Die?" USA Today. Gannett, 4 Dec. 2012. Web. 20 Sept. 2013.
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