The bystander effect is a concept that immediately sparked an interest for me. I heard about the murder of Kitty Genovese, in which no one who heard her screaming called 911, at some point during my high school career. However, I never knew there was scientific evidence describing the reason people don't feel they need to call for help. The reason for this reaction is not necessarily due to apathy, but to psychological paralysis, in which these people find themselves frozen and unable to assist the victim (Lilienfeld, 2010).
I took a CPR class where my instructor made it clear that while I am preparing to give someone CPR, I need to point out two specific people, one to find an automated external defibrillator and one to call 911, because few people will not take it upon themselves to help voluntarily. This makes me think about all the moments in my life when I saw someone on the side of the road with a flat tire and I never stopped to see if the person needed help. Although it is very necessary to evaluate the situation to make sure it's not dangerous to help, I feel the vast majority of these people would appreciate a helping hand. Psychology has taught me never to fall victim to the bystander effect again and that it is better to have multiple people call for help, than to see that person's name listed in the obituaries.
This concept has raised awareness about the bystander effect to many students so far and will continue informing future students. I hope that all of the psychology 1001 students will hold this message close to his or her heart, so that we will never have another tragedy due to the bystander effect again.
The attached video is a staged abduction in which the bystander effect is demonstrated.