The Bystander Intervention: John Darley And Bibb Latane

818 Words 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 …show more content…
Even though many people saw the incident, only few of them tried to help. One witness who tried to save the victims was an off-duty police officer who declared that he was shocked by the fact that people were just standing there, watching and doing nothing, not even trying to help. Darley and Latane tried to explain the bystander effect using the social influence process known as “diffusion of responsibility”. On one hand, this means that the presence of other bystanders at the crash scene on the highway decreases the pressure on individuals to try to help the victims because of the thought of shared responsibility. All bystanders noticed the crash and they definitely interpret it as an emergency but they failed to take responsibility and help. They probably failed to act not because of apathy or indifference, but rather because of the presence of the other bystanders. Since other individuals present on the highway were doing nothing, they all maintain the view that there was nothing they could do in order to help. They probably behaved this way because they believed that their understanding of the incident is less accurate than other bystanders’ understanding of the emergency, therefore, they considered the actions of others as the most suitable course of …show more content…
Not only that he was the only one who tried to do something but he also tried to make other peoples follow him, asking a gentleman to find a fire extinguisher: “That’s when I started asking the gentleman in a white shirt who was standing there amongst the crowd of all these people, ‘Is there any way…does anybody have fire extinguishers? “. Beside the fact that the other bystanders refused to assume responsibility and did not tried to help, they were making the situation even difficult, standing close to the car and filming with their cell phones the tragic moments. The policeman said in the interview that he could not believe the fact that people were actually filming those people suffering instead of putting themselves in the role of a first responder and try to help them out. There was even one woman filming so close with her phone that the policeman had to tell her to back up away from the car. So why were all the bystanders so passive about the accident and refused to follow the policeman example, who helped even though he was off-duty? One possible explanation could be the fact they thought the other onlookers, especially the off-duty policeman who was already acting in the situation,

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