Human beings can be unpleasant, selfish and inconsiderate in their treatment of other people. Also, the manifestations of human aggression and egocentric attitude together with the mass destruction effected by War propelled Sigmund Freud to believe that people are aggressive by nature ( ). Humans habitually act to benefit other people in an act exemplified as prosocial behavior. Behaviors such as sharing personal resources, helping someone in need, volunteering time, effort, expertise and cooperating with others in an attempt to achieve a common goal ( ). Although people are often in need of help and act of kindness from another human being, however, the decision to help someone in need of aid is not a simple or straightforward decision as it might seem. Various
Bystander effect refers to the instance in which there is an emergency and people witnessing don’t respond when there are others around witnessing the same event. This happens because of pluralistic ignorance which is when people assume that there is nothing wrong because others surrounding them don’t look concerned. Two researchers, Latan and Darley, conducted an experiment to further study the bystander effect. In this experiment, Latan and Darley took multiple college students and one at a time, put them into cubicles. In a cubicle next to them there would be a recording device producing noises emulating distress noises in the form of choking. Eighty five percent of the students went to help; this is not an alarming number. The surprising
The bystander effect was first studied by two social psychologists Bibb Latané and John Darley. This all started after the incident of the infamous murdering of Kitty Genovese in Kew Gardens New York. Kitty Genovese had just parked her car and started walking towards her apartment when she was attacked by her murderer and repeatedly stabbed three times over a half an hour period of time. As she was screaming for help while being stabbed to death, there were a total of 38 bystanders who heard her screams and some were even watching the event go on from their window and not a single one of these bystanders bothered help her or even call the police until it was too late and she was killed.
Walking along the busy street of Manhattan, Katie becomes light headed passing out; although she is in a large group of people, no one stops to help. This phenomenon is called the “bystander effect.” A bystander is often anyone who passed by, witnessed, or even participated in a certain situation (Polanin, Espelage & Pigott, 2012). The bystander effect is the idea that the larger the group, the less likely an individual is to be helped. The likelihood of someone getting helped is inversely compared to the number of people who are around witnessing the event at the time. This phenomenon has played a huge role in the increase of civilians failing to be helped in the past years, and is starting to have more light shined upon it. Knowledge of the role of a bystander now has more public awareness (Fischer et al., 2011). The bystander effect has acted as a doorway to many things, and situations such as bullying, and gang violence. Most people have been in situations where they were either a bystander or a victim of no bystander intervention. The typical person falls victim to the bystander effect because of people feeling the need to conform to a group, self- efficacy, and the belief that responsibility will transfer to another individual.
On December 3, in full view of a number of witnesses standing within close proximity, Ki-Suck Han, a 58 year-old male entered into an altercation with Naeem Davis, a 30 year-old homeless male at the Times Square subway station. Han was pushed down into the tracks and then struggled and pleaded for help for what was reported to be a full 22 seconds, as witnesses watched, took pictures, and failed to come to his assistance (Petrecca & Eversley, 2012). The man was then hit by the approaching subway train as it dragged into the station. This is a sad example of the Bystander Effect which demonstrates that people are less likely to come to the assistance of another in an emergency situation when other bystanders are present and also perceived to be responsible and able to help (Schneider, Gruman, and Coutts, 2012). Moreover, we are most of the time influenced by Social Loafing. Social loafing is the diffusion of responsibility among a group of people. When a group of people are perceiving an emergency situation, all of them tend to think that others are available to help. Social influence explains that people always look to others to evaluate a situation as a real emergency. We assume that others may know something that we do not know and we measure their reactions before we decide how we will respond. If we noticed that those around us are acting as if it is an emergency, then we will view the situation in the same way and act accordingly. However, if those around us are acting calm, then we may not realize the immediacy of the situation and therefore fail to respond appropriately. Maybe this is the answer to why people did not help the homeless who was attacked by the 58 year- old man. They failed to see the situation as a real emergency, and as a result they did not act
Kitty Genovese case led to the development of the 911 emergency call system and inspired a long line of research led by psychologists Bibb Latané and John Darley around the time of 1970 into what circumstances lead bystanders to help someone in need. They discovered that, the more people available to help, the less likely any individual person would help—a phenomenon they called the “bystander effect.” If you are the only one around when an elderly person stumbles and falls, the responsibility to help is yours alone, but, with more people present, your obligation is less clear. Latané and Darley called this the “diffusion of responsibility” (CSI). A more recent case of the bystander effect was when assault victim Marques Gains laid motionless in the street due to by a hit-and-run; traffic whizzed past along with a few people stopped and seemed to stand over Gaines, who was crumpled near the curb on North State Street. No one tried to lift him from the pavement or block traffic. The lack of action by passers-by cost the hotel cocktail server his life after a cab turned the corner and drove over him. Experts says that a traumatic or odd event occurring in a public setting triggers an array of social and cultural cues and, combined with human nature, often leads to the lack of action by witnesses
In 1964 Catherine ‘Kitty’ Genovese was murdered and raped outside of her New York apartment in the early morning hours of 3 a.m. Her case was one that shocked all of America to its very core. The killer and the witnesses to the crime show the start of disassociation within society in the three theories that are applied throughout the following pages: Rational Choice, Anomie and Routine Activity. The development of the bystander effect and the diffusion of responsibility and its significant harms to both society and its moral compass in
On March 13, 1964 a woman by the name of Catherine “Kitty” Genovese was coming back to her apartment in Queens, New York at 3:00 a.m. when she was impaled to death by a serial killer. According to the news, the said attack was about 30 minutes long. During the attack, Kitty Genovese screamed for help numerous times. The killer left the scene when the attention of a neighbor was attracted. Ten minutes later, the killer returned to the scene and murdered Genovese. It came to attention that 38 people witnessed the attack and murder, but all thirty-eight failed to report it until after the murder. This ordeal got the attention of many people including scientists and psychologists who wanted to figure out why this occurred. Later, the events that were published by the news were found to be false. It seemed as if the news was experiencing the bystander effect as well, because their information did not contribute to the actual facts. There were not 38 witnesses to the crime, but several had heard the screams and a few calls were made to the police during the attack. But there was still talk about something that affected the minds of people during emergency situations. This phenomenon has become known as the Bystander Effect. There were several cases that are fairly similar to the Genovese one. As well as the Genovese case, these occurrences attracted the attention of many scientists and even the news had something to say about “apathy.” Is the bystander effect real? My hypothesis is that the bystander effect is in fact, a real everyday occurrence that limits the help offered by people. This is due to the number of bystander present during a given situation. The Bystander Effect is the social psychological idea that refers to cases in whi...
One study that examines bystander apathy well was conducted in 2011 and compiles research of bystander apathy from the 1970s up to present day. “Early research consistently showed that the presence of passive bystanders reduces the likelihood that individuals will intervene and help a victim in a critical situation” (Fischer et al., 2011, p. 518). In carrying over into present day this rule is good but there are specific factors that can affect a person’s decision to intervene. One of these factors ironically is the addition of other bystanders. “Participants…were more likely to help (65%) than participants in the alone condition (55%)” (idem, p. 521). However, this is usually the case only when other bystanders in the group are thought to be competent to the original bystander who is considering intervening in a dangerous situation. In summary, “…a bystander’s decision to help depends on the perceived cost of helping, the benefit of helping to the victim, and the perceived likelihood that other bystanders will help” (idem, p. 521). In addition, there is also an examination into the analysis of emergencies and their degrees with respect to a person’s choice to intervene.
In most countries, allowing an injustice to take place is seen as something unethical, and for that reason, it is evident that being a bystander is morally incorrect. This is demonstrated in the article, “We Are Living Through a