Conclusion Of The Bystander Effect

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The Bystander Effect
On March 13, 1964, a woman named Kitty Genovese was murdered in front of her apartment complex in New York. Multiple bystanders witnessed parts of the event but failed to offer any assistance (Latane and Darley). Later, exaggerated media accounts after her death generated wide spread outrage and speculation. This incident led to the first modern research conducted by Latane and Darley on the root causes of what is now known today as the “bystander effect”. Phycologists now define the bystander effect as “a tendency for people not to get involved or not to offer help in a social situation” (Pam). This generally occurs in emergencies or situations where someone is in need of assistance. Instances of this phenomenon can be
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Two social psychologists named John Darley and Bibb Latane found that diffusion of responsibility occurs in situations when bystanders are in groups. In such a situation, people tend to believe that someone else will offer assistance. As a result, the amount of responsibility that they feel towards the situation decreases as there are more people around. They arrived at this conclusion after a series of experiments with three conditions in which subjects had to fill out a questionnaire while the testers slowly let in smoke into the room. Scenario one had a single subject, scenario two had three subjects, and scenario four had a single subject who was left with two confederates who were told to notice the smoke but to ignore it. Statistically, Latane and Darley observed that since “75% of the alone subjects reported the smoke, we would expect that over 98% of the three-person groups to include at least one reporter.” In reality, a person report the incident in only 38% of the groups. Results of the experiment showed that people responded less when they were with others. The researcher’s conclusions also supported previous unrelated studies that found that “togetherness reduced the amount of fear”, even if the situation itself had not changed. Bystanders in groups are likely to wave off an emergency as being …show more content…
This conclusion was tested in an immersive virtual reality experiment with supporters of Arsenal Football Club in England by researchers at Bournemouth University led by John Slater. Subjects had to make a decision to help a victim who was either an Arsenal supporter or not. Conclusions drawn from the test indicated that a victim sharing a common social identity with a bystander would increase the probability of bystander intervention. An opposite case was seen when a foreigner fainted in a Shanghai subway in 2014 (Langfitt). Security footage showed fellow passengers fleeing the scene and not a single person helped the fallen man. This incident brought to light cultural values ingrained in Chinese teachings. UCLA anthropologist Yunxiang Yan asserted that the reactions are partly due to scams that preyed on helpful bystanders in the past. China’s traditional ethical system teaches people to get along with others in their social group, but when facing to a stranger they “tend to be very suspicious and whenever possible, might take advantage of the

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