Causes Of The Bystander Effect

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Picture this: You’re walking down the street and you see a couple arguing. You then witness him push her down and start an onslaught of punches. You’re going to stop them correct? That depends. If you are by yourself, there’s an 85% chance you’ll help or get help. However, if you are with multiple bystanders, you’ll only be 30% likely to retrieve help. (Burkley, 2009) This phenomenon is known as the Bystander effect. This happens when a group of people see that something is wrong, but don’t help. This paper will delve into why the bystander effect occurs and how people can actively stop it from occurring. Many psychologists such as Latane and Bibb have researched extensively into this terrible phenomenon. It will go into detail
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Pluralistic ignorance occurs when someone believes one thing, but doesn’t do anything because they believe that others believe the complete opposite thing, which is untrue.1 For example, if you see a child splashing in a pool, but you don’t jump in fear of humiliation, you don’t do anything. The child could still be drowning, but you do nothing because you think everyone else will do something. (Burkley, 2009) Pluralistic ignorance is one of the two reasons for the bystander effect. The other reason Burkley mentions is the diffusion of responsibility. The diffusion of responsibility occurs when someone fails to personally help when they witness a crime. (Burkley, 2009) This happens when there are multiple bystanders around. Burkley (2009) mentions that in a situation, if you are the only bystander, you have 100% of the responsibility. However, if there are five bystanders, you only have 20% of the …show more content…
(Bystander Intervention & Prevention, n.d.) This view of the prevention of the bystander effect gives three reasons in which this can happen: it discourages victim blaming, it can change social norms, and it shifts responsibilities to men and women. Victim blaming occurs when a victim of a sexual assault is basically told that it is their fault that they were assaulted. The article says that, instead of blaming the victim, the community should take responsibility. By changing social norms societal responsibility is growing. Therefore, sexual assaults will happen less. (Bystander Intervention & Prevention, n.d.) Lastly, the shift of responsibility should occur instead of men being seen as aggressors and women as victims both genders will have equal

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