Bystander Apathy The Bystander Effect A few years before his obedience research, Stanley Milgram and his colleagues were contemplating a different sort of study.
Social psychologists study the circumstances in which people offer help to others. The Bystander Effect Research shows that people are less likely to offer help to someone in distress if other people are also present. This is called the bystander effect. The probability that a person will receive help decreases as the number of people present increases.
Diffusion of responsibility contributes to the bystander effect. A person does not feel as responsible for helping someone if several others are also present, since responsibility is distributed among all those present.
Influences on Helping Researchers have proposed that bystanders who witness an emergency will help only if three conditions are met: They notice the incident.
They interpret the incident as being an emergency situation.
They assume responsibility for helping. Researchers suggest that people are most likely to help others in certain circumstances: They have just seen others offering help. They are not in a hurry. They share some similarities with the person needing help. They are in a small town or a rural setting.
They are not preoccupied or focused on themselves. The person needing help appears deserving of help. Reasons for Helping Others Some social psychologists use the social exchange theory to explain why people help others. They argue that people help each other because they want to gain as much as possible while losing as little as possible.
The social responsibility norm also explains helping behavior.
The social responsibility norm is a societal rule that tells people they should help others who need help even if doing so is costly.The theory of diffusion of responsibility comes from the psychological concept the bystander effect.
In , a woman named Kitty Genovese was . This effect was quite a bit smaller than the diffusion of responsibility effect in the laboratory studies, although it was in the predicted direction.
(Latané and Darley, ) What personal characteristics of the victim were found to influence bystander apathy?
The most frequently cited example of the bystander effect in introductory psychology textbooks is the brutal murder of a young woman named Catherine "Kitty" Genovese.
On Friday, March 13, , year-old Genovese was returning home from work.
The Bystander Effect is about more than the diffusion of responsibility Inspired by the shocking murder of a woman in New York in , reportedly in front of numerous witnesses who did nothing to help (although this was exaggerated), the Bystander Effect is a well-researched phenomenon that describes the diminishing likelihood that any .
The bystander effect and social control behavior: The effect of the presence of others on people’s reactions to norm violations. European Journal of Social Psychology,32, - . Bystander Effect: Reactions and Causes The bystander effect is an element of social psychology that implies that when the number of bystanders is increased in an emergency situation, the less likely any of the bystanders will aid, or assist in the situation (Aronson, Wilson, & Akert, ).