Essay about Prosocial Behavior and the Bystander Effect

Essay about Prosocial Behavior and the Bystander Effect

Length: 892 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

According to Aronson, Wilson, and Akert (2013) prosocial behavior is defined as an act performed for the benefit of another person. Altruism is referred to as the want to help another individual even if it means no benefits, or possibly a cost, for the helper (Aronson, Wilson, & Akert, 2013). One particular factor, the bystander effect, has a profound impact on whether or not people help others. The bystander effect states that as the number of people who witness an emergency increases, the likelihood that any of those people will help decreases (Aronson et al., 2013). Processes associated with the bystander effect such as pluralistic ignorance, diffusion of responsibility, and victim effect all impact the likelihood of prosocial behavior, and can be exaggerated by social, cultural, and ‘self’ beliefs.
Once an individual notices an event, he or she must then interpret the event as an emergency in order to help. The problem here is that pluralistic ignorance often takes place when others are around because people think others are interpreting a situation a particular way, when they typically are not (Aronson et al., 2013). In these situations, informational social influence occurs because individuals look to other people for queues regarding the current situation. People usually believe others are better at understanding the situation than they are. Yet, while everyone is looking for social queues because they are concerned or worried, no one is acting as if they are worried because they do not want to act outside of the group norm.
The next step in offering assistance in an emergency is assuming responsibility. Often times, diffusion of responsibility takes place instead. Unfortunately, with people around, each ind...


... middle of paper ...


... R.M, (2013). Social Psychology (8th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.
Caprara, G.V. & Steca, P. (2005). Self–efficacy beliefs as Determinants of prosocial behavior conducive to life satisfaction across ages. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. 24(2).191-217. doi: 10.1521/jscp.24.2.191.62271
Hui, C.H. (1988). Measurement of individualism-collectivism. Journal of Research in Personality. 22(1). 17-36. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0092656688900220
Hui, C.H. and Triandis, H.C. (1986). Individualism-collectivism: a study of cross-cultural researchers. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. 17(2). 225-248. Doi: 10.1177/0022002186017002006
Kogut, T. and Ritov, I. (2005), The “identified victim” effect: an identified group, or just a single individual?. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. 18. 157–167. doi: 10.1002/bdm.492

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Bystander Effect Essays

- The purpose of this paper is to analyse how the bystander effect, “the likelihood that an individual will intervene in an emergency goes down as the number of bystanders increases” (Olson, Breckler, Wiggins, 2008, p.482), occurs in chosen an emergency situation (Appendix nr1). I am going to show why and how participant’s behaviour confirms or not that effect. There are many interactions among people witnessing an emergency situation. Behaviours of witnesses are influenced by occurring psychological reactions and responses to situation....   [tags: bystander’s reactions]

Free Essays
842 words (2.4 pages)

The Effect of Personal Characteristics on Prosocial Behaviour Essay

- The Effect of Personal Characteristics on Prosocial Behaviour In this essay, it will be first looked at the effect personal characteristics have on Prosocial behaviour including the level of moral reasoning of individuals, vicarious emotional reactions, altruism, guilt, self concern, the Just World hypothesis and also the biological approach. Secondly it will be looked at how being part of a group can effect an individuals Prosocial behaviour. Intra-group factors that will be covered include the Bystander Effect, modelling and norms....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1407 words (4 pages)

Cyberbullying: Understanding Bystanders’ Behavior Essays

- Introduction With the rise of internet and electronic technology, bullying has evolved from its traditional schoolyard setting to a more pernicious form: cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is defined as “the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person” (Kidshealth, 2012). The diverse means include but are not limited to: text messages, phone calls, emails, social networking websites, chat rooms, and instant messenger services. Adolescents constitute the population most susceptible to aggressive and harassing online behavior whether as victims, perpetrators or witnesses....   [tags: Bystander Responses to Bullying]

Better Essays
2274 words (6.5 pages)

A Review of Effects of Songs With Prosocial Lyrics on Prosocial Thoughts, Affect, and Behavior

- Overview Greitemeyer, T. (2009). Effects of songs with prosocial lyrics on prosocial thoughts, affect, and behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(1), 186-190. The purpose of the research study Effects of songs with prosocial lyrics on prosocial thoughts, affect, and behavior, was to examine the research question, Does exposure to prosocial media promote prosocial outcomes. The study attempts to determine the predictive validity of a previous construct known as the General Learning Model, a theoretical model of the effects and consequences of playing video games (as cited in Greitemeyer, 2009)....   [tags: Sociology ]

Better Essays
2037 words (5.8 pages)

The Bystander Effect Essay

- 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 cha...   [tags: Psychology ]

Better Essays
2566 words (7.3 pages)

The Relation Between Religion and Prosocial Behavior Essay

- Cooperation requires acting and working together for the mutual benefits of the members of the in-group. Accordingly, it is generally thought and also supported by the empirical evidence that religiosity evolved with the object of constructing large-scale societies where the anonymous interaction among members of society is crucial (Norenzayan & Shariff, 2008; Atran & Heinrich, 2010; Preston & Ritter, 2013; Shariff & Norenzayan, 2007; Rand et al., 2014). Thus, generosity and altruism are more common in religious societies which have big Gods, namely; İslam, Christianity and Judaism (Norenzayan, 2013)....   [tags: social cooperation, religious priming, God]

Better Essays
2308 words (6.6 pages)

Problems of the Bystander Effect Essay

- It was chilly dawn on March 13th, 1964 that 28-year-old bar manager Catherine Kitty Genovese was walking home. While she was walking towards her house, a 29-year-old machine operator came out and stabbed her twice in the back. Catherine was frightened and desperately screamed for help. There were 38 citizens who watched the killer stabbing the woman, but no one called the police as they did not want to be involved in the situation. As a result, Catherine died while her urgent cries were unanswered by 38 witnesses (Martin Gansberg, 1964)....   [tags: Genovese syndrome, ethics, psychology, society]

Better Essays
1000 words (2.9 pages)

Bystander Effect Essay

- 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....   [tags: experiment, research, intervention]

Better Essays
1076 words (3.1 pages)

The bystander effect Essay

- In the early morning hours of March 13, 1964, twenty-eight year old barmaid Catherine "Kitty" Genovese was murdered and raped on the street in Kew Gardens, New York. The incident did not initially receive much attention until Martin Gansberg's infamous article, "Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder, Didn't Call the Police", was published in the New York Times two weeks later. In reality, only twelve people witnessed the event yet each did nothing to significantly help Genovese until it was too late. The Genovese murder has become the definitive example of the "bystander effect", the social phenomenon in which individuals are less likely to help someone in distress if there are other people present....   [tags: Crime]

Better Essays
1226 words (3.5 pages)

Prosocial Self-schemas and Behavior Essay

- Prosocial Self-schemas and Behavior The theoretical question that has been posed in this article is whether prosocial private self-schemas and prosocial private self-awareness are predictors of prosocial behavior. The self-schema is believed to play an important role in the regulation of behavior. It is believed that behavior is influenced by the activation of a schema. This schema is connected to the perception of self. Little evidence is shown to conclude that self-schemas are independently influencing any type of behavior and it is presumed that both the descriptive information about the self and the behavioral information are stored independently of each other....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
952 words (2.7 pages)