Essay on Bystander Intervention As A Social Science Model

818 Words Dec 3rd, 2014 4 Pages
Bystander Intervention is a social science model which predicts that in the presence of others, people are less likely to offer help than when they are alone. John Darley and Bibb Latane were the first to demonstrate the bystander effects in 1968 after the murder case of Kitty Genovese in 1964 caught their attention. Any bystander has two basic choices: to help or do nothing. Before a bystander is likely to take action, they must notice the event, interpret the situation as an emergency, decide whether or not it is their personal responsibility to act, plan a course of action and take action. The bystander may become easily influenced by the decisions of others bystanders. If each one of the other bystanders seems to regard the event as not an emergency, it changes and affects the perceptions of any single individual and inhibits potential helping behavior: they can fail to notice the event, fail to interpret it as a problem at all, or can fail to assume the responsibility for taking action. This essay shall apply the decision model of bystander intervention of Latane and Darley to a recent event, a deadly car crash accident (see appendix) and examine the bystanders’ decisions and behavior.
Firstly, it is important to acknowledge the severity of the accident: the crash happened on a highway, in a closed HOV lane and two people were trapped inside a burning car. Even though many people saw the incident, only few of them tried to help. One witness who tried to save the…

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