Causes of Bystander Nonintervention

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bystander-effect.jpgWhile reading the tragic stories of bystander nonintervention, I was appalled on how the bystanders were watching these horrible events, and not doing anything about it. But after reading paragraphs on how safety in numbers is just a hoax, I came to the conclusion that this has happened in my life as well to a certain extent. The causes of bystander noninterventions are pluralistic ignorance, the error of assuming that no one in the group perceives things as we do, and diffusion of responsibility, the presence of others makes each person feel less responsible for the outcome. It has happened many times where I have seen a drunk or homeless person walking the streets, and my first thought is always that they need help, but then I look around and find that no one else is helping them so maybe I'm seeing the situation worse than it really is. Why is it that I feel the need to conform to what other people are thinking, why can't I just believe what my first initial thought was and stick with that thought. I was very interested in reading this part of the textbook, because it really stuck with me that as a bystander we don't help as much or as often as we should. What do you guys make of this picture, and how do you think you would react?


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The bystander effects is such a serious and scary thing. When I first learned about it, I was told about the story of Kitty Genovese. The fact that so many people saw and heard her being beaten and murdered, yet none of them helped, is so appalling. And it is so easy to say, of course I would do something. However, in the situation, so many people have the thought, someone else will do it.

This also applies to much to offensive language and harassment. Standing by and letting it happen, even when you know someone saying "that's so gay" or "that's retarded" is offensive, is letting it happen. Seeing someone being bullied and not doing anything about it is letting it happen.

It can be hard to step up and do something, it can be awkward and can have negative personal effects. However, there is nothing more important than stepping up. This world would be such a better place.

Yeah, I also agree that our world could be better off considering bullies and such if someone were to step in. I feel as though some people don't step in to prevent bullying is because they want to be seen as the "cool kids" and usually the cool kids are the ones that are doing the bullying. I would also like to think that I would step in when women are getting beaten and murdered because that is so different than bullying to a certain extent.

Like the first comment said, the bystander effect is extremely scary. I would hope that I would help people in a dangerous situation, but seeing everyone else not helping would probably make me go along with the crowd. More people need to be aware of the bystander effect in order for change to be made.

When people learn about things like this concept I think it is always so easy to say you would do the right thing. I think the blog example is a perfect example because when I read the blog I automatically thought that I would help that drunk man. I think I would ignore the man now that I really think about it which proves the bystander effect. We all like to do the right thing but in reality if we all did the right thing there would be no such thing as the bystander effect!

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This page contains a single entry by wille360 published on April 25, 2012 3:38 PM.

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