Concept Of The Bystander Effect

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What would you do if you someone next to you was murdered? Would you call the police? Would you help the person? Well Catherine Genovese suffered a faith where everyone was blinded to her demise. This psychological concept is known as the bystander effect which Wikipedia define as a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present. The probability of help is inversely related to the number of bystanders.
A well-known case of the bystander effect was an article “37 Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police” written by Martin Gansberg. It was in 1964 when Catherine Genovese also known as Kitty was murdered outside her apartment on way from work. As
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Social Psychologist John Darley and Bibb Latane developed a process called help-giving. Both Psychologists argued bystanders hesitate to intervene when there are too many people, which are the most common cases of the bystander effect (Urschler). To test this theory Darley and Latane conducted an experiment called the “Smoke filled room” where they studied what people would do in an emergency situation. They used a group of students at Columbia University who thought they were going to be interviewed for an urban-life study not knowing they were the test rats. The first set of students were asked to fill out a form individually in a private room. Once a student was placed in the room smoke will begin to fill the room, on instinct the induvial ran out of the room to inform the receptionist. During the next round of the experiment the next group of students were grouped together to fill out the application along with two researchers who were helping to conduct the research. The smoke filled the room once again the two researchers remained oblivious to the smoke and continued to fill out their application according to Darley and Latane only one student reported the smoke while the others: waved it off, coughed or opened up a window but never reported or left the room (Kee Won Lee). After the research the two conducted a conclusion that affect …show more content…
It was the same result during the murder of Katherine Genovese no one immediately went to help her because in that kind of neighborhood it wasn’t everyday someone was being murdered which caused a lot of the neighbors to not know what to do. One bystander in her case even said “It is one of the better neighborhoods. There are few reports of crimes” (Gainsberg). Social influence also plays a part in the bystander effect where bystanders look at the reaction of others to see what they will do in the situation if they see no one trying to intervene they too will not do anything and find the situation as a non-emergency (Wikipedia). Another example in Gainsberg article is when one bystander believed it was a lover’s quarrel when she and her husband saw no one trying the help the

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