What Is the Bystander Effect?

ever wonder why even in a crowd no one

seems to step in when someone is bullied

or help someone that is feeling unwell

the answer is the bystander effect the

bystander effect is a strange

psychological phenomenon the more people

there are around the less likely

bystanders are to intervene in an

emergency situation one explanation is

that the diffusion of responsibility

among multiple bystanders leads each

person to believe someone else will step

forward and take action the effect is

likely also bolstered by bystanders

assuming other people such as doctors or

police officers are more qualified to

help fearing harm and worrying their

intervention will be unneeded or

unwanted loaned bystanders are more

likely to notice a victim than

bystanders and groups this is because

when people are together social norms

dictate that we focus on each other and

pay less attention to our surroundings

once a bystander does notice the victim

they might look at other people nearby

to interpret the situation if no one

else is reacting the bystander might

conform and do nothing there may be an

assumption that the other bystanders

have more knowledge about the given

situation and are behaving appropriately

if the bystander does deem the situation

in emergency and think someone should do

something they then have to contemplate

their personal responsibility feelings

of obligation and empathy could be

increased if the bystander has medical

or self-defense training if they know

the victim and if they believe the

victim deserves help the final step is

actually deciding to help either by

intervening directly or contacting the

authorities finally the bystander effect

has been overcome however a recent

studies suggests the bystander effect

can prevent ideas concerns and opinions

from reaching upper management in the

workplace if an employee is confident

information is widely known and

discussed among other employees a

diffusion of responsibility lowers the

chance that they will tell their manager

the information researchers call this

The Voice bystander effect for

Scientific American

I'm Tim Palmieri