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Bystander Intervention

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By gangwalprachi
Words 2375
Pages 10
What is Bystander Effect
The bystander effect is the somewhat controversial name given to a social psychological phenomenon in cases where individuals do not offer help in an emergency situation when other people are present. The probability of help has in the past been thought to be inversely proportional to the number of bystanders. In other words, the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any one of them will help.
In a series of classic studies, researchers Bibb Latane and John Darley found the bystander effect. In one experiment, subjects were placed in one of three treatment conditions: alone in a room, with two other participants or with two confederates who pretended to be normal participants. As the participants sat filling out questionnaires, smoke began to fill the room. When participants were alone, 75% reported the smoke to the experimenters. In contrast, just 38% of participants in a room with two other people reported the smoke. In the final group, the two confederates in the experiment noted the smoke and then ignored it, which resulted in only 10% of the participants reporting the smoke.
Another great example of the bystander effect is a study done by Robert Thornberg (2007). In his study, he observed real- life emergency situations in a classroom. In one incident he describes, a group of 5th graders are coming back from their break and putting away their jackets. One student, Chris, is lying on the floor holding his arm and is crying softly. Many of the students see Chris but walk right by him. One student, Robin, asks what happened. Chris tells Robin that John’s knee accidentally hit him in the arm. After hearing this, Robin leaves Chris and goes to his seat. The teacher asks all the students to take their seats so they can begin. David sees Chris on the floor and goes to his aid. When David asks Chris what happened, Chris...

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