Bystander Effect In Research

964 Words 4 Pages
It is important to understand why sometimes we fail to help in emergencies. The ‘bystander effect’, is a concept that as the group size increases, the less likely a person will intervene (Levine & Cassidy, 2009). The main reasons for this occurring include the notion of audience inhibition, social influence and diffusion of responsibility (Levine & Cassidy, 2009). Research by Darley, Lewis and Teger (1978) demonstrated that group size may not be the only significant factor in helping in an emergency. The researchers indicate that if bystanders could communicate with one another, then the size of the group did not inhibit helping. This is further supported by Rutkowski, Gruder & Romer (1983) who argue that if bystanders could build up a sense …show more content…
While a group presence can lead to inhibition, it can also lead to people helping others. We can be pro-social bystanders and prevent or intervene in an emergency. An example of a crime prevention strategy could involve a safety initiative, which encourages members of the public to recognise and address a situation where there is an increased risk of violence occurring, such as looking out for the welfare of friends, peers, family members and colleagues and being mindful along with being proactive in response to what is going on in one’s surrounding environment. For example, offering to escort a friend home (Powell, Di Salvia & AIFS, 2014).

Most research on bystanders usually focuses on why people intervene to prevent crime, rather than why they don’t. It is important to discuss how the power of the crowd can aid in a solution. Research indicates that people are more likely to intervene and attempt to prevent crime if the person is from the same social group (Levine & Cassidy, 2009). For example, the same sporting club, university, country and workplace. In this context,
…show more content…
M., Teger, A. I., & Lewis, L. D. (1973). Do groups always inhibit individuals ' responses to potential emergencies? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 26(3), 395-399. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
Freakonomics, (2012). [podcast] Riding the Herd Mentality. Available at: [Accessed 28 Oct. 2016].
Levine, M., & Cassidy, C. (2009). Groups, Identities, and Bystander Behavior How Group Processes Can Be Used to Promote Helping. In S. Sturmer & M. Snyder (Eds.), The Psychology of Prosocial Behavior Group Processes, Intergroup Relations, and Helping (pp. 210-222). Wiley.
Powell, Anastasia. & Di Salvia, Lauren. & Australian Institute of Family Studies, issuing body. (2014). Bystander approaches : responding to and preventing men 's sexual violence against women. Melbourne, VIC : Australian Institute of Family Studies,
Rutkowski, G. K., Gruder, C. L., & Romer, D. (1983). Group cohesiveness, social norms, and bystander intervention. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44(3), 545-552. Retrieved October 28,

Related Documents