Bystander Effect

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Bystander effect, (Darley & Latane, 1970) refers to decrease in helping response when there are bystanders around relative to no bystanders. Referring to previous study stating that there are some cases of which group size may promote helping instead of hindering it (Fischer et al., 2011). Researchers then speculate the possibility of positive influences from bystanders by taking public self-awareness into consideration. Researchers proposed that high public self-awareness would reverse the bystander effect in this study with 2 independent variables which are bystander and presence on the forum. They are defined as number of bystanders (absent vs present) and salience of name (salient vs non-salient) respectively. 86 students are randomly assigned to one of the four conditions in the experiment. Response of participants in the online forum is the operational definition for the dependent variable of helping behavior. The result shows that number of response increases with respect to increase in bystanders when public self-awareness is enhanced by using accountability cue (Bommel et al., 2012). Participants were asked to rate how notable they were from their view afterwards as a manipulation check.
Some characteristics in this study are worthy of featuring its strength. One of the strengths is providing a new insight in bystander effect. The study argued that researchers have previously neglected the potential benefit of bystanders and thus, the study provided a new horizon by proving reversed bystander effect through experiment. This allows us to be aware of the fact that someone may be providing help merely due to impression management. This arouses a doubt on whether the one who provides help is genuinely concerning a...

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... (1968). Bystander intervention in emergencies: Diffusion of responsibility. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8, 377-383.

Fischer, P., Krueger, J., Greitemeyer, T., Kastenmüller, A., Vogrincic, C., Frey, D., Heene, M., Wicher, M., & Kainbacher, M. (2011). The bystander-effect: A meta-analytic review on bystander intervention in dangerous and non-dangerous emergencies. Psychological Bulletin, 137, 517-537.

James, H., & John, R. (2012) .Well being after the Virginia tech mass murder: The relative effectiveness of face-to-face and virtual interactions in providing support to survivors. Traumatology, 18(4): 3-12.
Levine, M., Prosser, A., Evans, D., & Reicher, S. (2005). Identity and emergency intervention: how social group membership and inclusiveness of group boundaries shape helping behavior. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 31(4), 443-453.
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