The Bystander Effect: An Explanation

*There is a 10 sec lapse in the beginning.



Yi: What you just witnessed was an example of the bystander effect.

Yi 2: Yi I have a question, what is that?

Yi: Good question Yi. This psychological phenomenon happens in times of distress for an individual, and seemingly odd, the more people there are present, the less likely anyone is willing to help out.

2: Wow Yi, I never knew! that is strange. Tell me more.

Yi: Indeed Yi! The most infamous case of it, not unlike the introduction, was in 1964 when 28 year old Kitty Genovese was returning home from work at around 3. She was almost at her apartment when a guy comes out of nowhere and begins stabbing her.

2: Gasps

Yi: Despite nearby apartment lights turning on, indicating that people heard her cries for help, nobody contacted the police until 30 minutes later when she died of her wounds.

2: That's terrible! How could that even happen?

Yi: It's because of fear, gosh darn it, fear! Fear of getting attacked too, fear of seeing a person die, fear of judgement from other people later on.

2: Ah I see, so All That becomes rationalized when people think that someone else from the crowd will overcome those fears instead.

Yi: Why yes, that's exactly it! As humans, we feel safe in groups, and tend do act as a group unconscioiusly. So, if no one does anything immediately following an incident, people will choose to believe that it's not that big of a deal.

2: Soooo then when do people actually stop acting like jerks?

Yi: Great question Yi! A person is actually more likely to aid someone when there are little to no witnesses around, in main part due to moral obligation how, the responsibility for the outcome of the situation will then rest solely on the individual present at the scene.