The Bystander Effect

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night. She was stabbed and left lying on the sidewalk. She called for help and reports later indicated that many of her neighbors heard her cries yet did not call for help or attempt to interfere with the attack that lasted approximately 30 minutes. A neighbor eventually called police, but Genovese died before reaching the hospital. The story generated considerable interest in the bystander effect and in understanding why people help in some situations but not in others, and experts have discovered a number of different situational variables that contribute to (and sometimes interfere with) prosocial behavior. Pro-social behavior is a helpful action that benefits other people without necessarily providing any direct benefits to the person performing …show more content…
The bystander effect is one of the most notable examples of how the situation can impact helping behaviors. The bystander effect refers to the tendency for people to become less likely to assist a person in distress when there are a number of other people also present.
• First, the more people that are present decreases the amount of personal responsibility people feel in a situation. This is known as the diffusion of responsibility.
• People also tend to look to others for how to respond in such situations, particularly if the event contains some level of ambiguity. If no one else seems to be reacting, then individuals become less likely to respond as well.
• Fear of being judged by other members of the group also plays a role. People sometimes fear leaping to assistance; only to discover that there help was unwanted or unwarranted. In order to avoid being judged by other bystanders, people simply take no
…show more content…
His findings indicate that children are naturally helpful and cooperative, and as they grow, their outlook and behavior is modeled by their surroundings. Children base their behavior on the social values of their society; for example, neither a child nor an adult is likely to simply walk away from an interaction in the middle with no warning. Apes, on the other hand, demonstrate the ability to share and cooperate, but often choose not to. They do not seem to have the same sense of community or social responsibility that Tomasello believes is innate in humans. That natural sense of community is one reason Tomasello believes that we see pro social behavior so early in human

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