The Bystander Effect

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Introduction Today a lot of individuals are praised for their bravery and their heroism. A lot of these people risk their lives to save or help others when those are in need. These people can range from firefighters who risked their lives to save innocent people from the 9/11 attack to an ordinary person who helps an old lady to carry her groceries to her house. Even though there are a number of instances when people help others who are in need, such as mentioned above, there are also a number of instances when those same people avoid helping and getting involved, such as; ignoring an old lady who slipped and fell down in the middle of the road, avoiding helping an old man to pick up his change that fell out of his pocket, disregarding the school fight between the two students, etc. The main purpose of this essay is to explain why and under what conditions some people are more likely to get involved then others. It accomplishes that by looking at the two opposite but related events in which people have a choice of whether or not to interfere, then it tries to come up with a legit theory to describe why some people are more likely to get involved then others, and finally it explains how the theory can be applied to the events, as well as the flaws of the theory with respect to the events being observed. Description of the Events The events that are described here come from my personal observations that have been encountered during my early high school years. The two events are somewhat opposite from each other, and in both cases a third-party person has a choice of whether or not to get involved. However, according to my observations a third-party person has interfered in one of the events but not the other. ... ... middle of paper ... ...008). Social Psychology. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. Fischer, P., Greitemeyer, T., Pollozek, F., & Frey, D. (2006). The Unresponsive Bystander: Are Bystanders More Responsive in Dangerous Emergencies?. European Journal of Social Psychology, 36, 267-278. Garcia, S.M, Weaver, K., Moscowitz, G.B., & Darley, J.M. (2002). Crowded Minds: Implicit Bystander Effect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, No 4, 853. Latane, B., & Darley, J.M. (1968). Group Inhibition of Bystander Intervention in Emergencies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 10, No3, 215-221. Latane, B., & Darley, J.M. (1970). The Unresponsive Bystander: Why doesn't he help?. New York: Appleton Century-Crofts Schwartz, S.H., & Gottlieb, A (1980). Bystander Anonymity and Reactions to Emergencies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 39, No 3, 418-430.

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