Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on social psychology. The causes of the bystander effect are studied by many researchers and social psychologists and they concluded that the presence of others in emergency situations may force a person to think that others may extend help to the person in need. In other words, nobody wants to get into an emergency situation if any other option left. This paper briefly analyses the bystander effect and how to prevent it
History & stories of Bystander effect
Social psychologists Bibb Latane and John Darley in 1968 conducted an experiment to study to analyze the behaviors of people in emergency situations.
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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 (Cherry)
Bystanders often check the reactions of others when an emergency occurs. Decision making in emergency situations by a bystander will always depend on the responses of others present in the scenario. On the other hand, if nobody present in an emergency situation, a bystander would take decisions immediately and act quickly. For example, suppose a drunkard asking for help from a person in a pathetic condition. That bystander may extend help to that drunkard if he is alone. On the other hand, if a drunkard asking help from a group of bystanders, sometimes none of them may like to help him. In social psychology, the above obstacle in intervention is referred to as diffusion of responsibility. Diffusion of responsibility means a situation in which a bystander thinks that his responsibility to interfere in an emergency matter would be less if others are present in that emergency situation.
Apart from the diffusion of responsibility, there are other reasons also for the bystander effect. In many cases, people will assume that others may have more skills and qualifications in interfering in emergency situations.
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