Psychological Studies Of The Bystander Effect

The Bystander Effect is a Social Psychological claim that most individuals are less likely to help a victim when other people are present. This creates almost a type of fear in most because they are scared of what people would think or say because of the simple fact that they are helping a person in need. The greater the bystanders the less likely someone will stand out and help because of how reliable they are on the people around them to help, how society will view them and the social norm of being able to walk past someone and feel the need to help because they see that no one else is helping so why would they help. The most common excuse that people have is that “they didn't notice”or “they were late to work or something very important”. 

One popular study among psychologist was called “Bystander Intervention in Emergencies: Diffusion of responsibility “ Created by John M. Darley and Bibb Latane. The experiment was to see whether or not people would help someone in need. They put together actors pretending to be a homeless man, a businessman, homeless women, pregnant women, and a businesswoman, most of the bystanders didn't help either of the homeless people, but when it came to the pregnant women and the business people it took one person to notice and attend to their care while several people standing there and once that person helped everyone else helped and more people began to come over and help or find help. 

The original study was started was inspired by the Kitty Genovese incident, which Genovese was stabbed to death in the middle of the sidewalk over a course of thirty minutes and none of the thirty - eight plus anyone watching from the windows of their homes thought to call for help or alert anyone of what was going on. During the time they did studies and tests to figure out why there was less than any actions taken during this time to help this young lady in need. There were more than enough people to stop ad do something or called, but that was not the case. Where they scare? Or hesitant? Are they not sure about the seriousness of the situation? Or would they just simply rather not get involved and mind their own business. This sparked an interest when asked most people were scared of what would happen to them if they tried to intervene and they also said it simply isn't their business and didn't want to get involved with it. 

With most of the issues of the world, this is one of them most people when they see people in need they just look to see who is going to help and if no help then neither will they and it creates almost a ripple effect if, there are 15 people all witnessing the same thing and not one person helps they neither are they because they are scared of what people will think and wouldn't want to stand out from the group or they don't want to be put into a situation that they cannot get themselves out of. This creates many fears like Agoraphobia which is the fear of situations in which it would be difficult to escape. And many others as more and more people began to notice the studies and the experiments more and more people began to be aware of what's going on. But the question is will they still help others in need. What did we learn about human nature that we didn't know before would be the fact that most people notice what is going on around them in their environment and they have a choice to either do something about it or ignore it and nine times out of ten they tend to ignore it because they are so in their heads about what society thinks about it that they would rather not put themselves in that predicament at all rather than just doing it for the greater good? 

I think that this study should be one of many that should be studied and looked at today because it still goes on and it's on the news most of the killings that go on today could be stopped by a bystander trying to help or calling for help but it is so common for people to act like nothing happened because that's what society and it is considered a norm and it ok when in reality it's not. The only critique could have been done a bigger city, but they should've been down in small towns and neighborhoods to see the difference in how people react and if they react the same way or do they act differently. The implications would be how less likely a person would be to help someone in need when there are other people around and even how everyone reacts to the situations at hand. 

This study is considered a classic because it has happened and will continue to happen if no one speaks up and this study has evidence, videos, research papers, books, and it has been all over the news and social media so it's not going away, it's been popular since 1964 the first public case till now in 2019 it's still a big deal and makes people realize that whatever you do can affect everyone around you whether you choose to help or not.

16 August 2021
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