One of the more recent topics of psychology 1001 that sparked my interest was the Bystander Effect and social comparison theory, highly researched topics of social psychology. After watching this video, I couldn't believe the amount of people that walked by an injured person and didn't bother to provide assistance.
The group by-stander effect states that the general population is less likely to provide help when people are in groups compared to when people are alone. Often, if other people are present, the responsibility to provide help is divided and consequently, individual responsibility is reduced. This is referred to as the diffusion of responsibility and bystanders frequently and incorrectly assume that someone else will be willing to step in and offer assistance, as in the following cartoon:
The video also claims that most people simply just don't want to get involved. After hearing that, it made me question the morality of humans and the values each of us holds. Are our work days really that busy that we can't stop and ask someone the simple question, "are you ok?"
I also found it very interesting that while the actor in the video was dressed in torn street clothes, he never really received help. Yet after he dressed in a suit and was considered part of the "in-group", it took less than a minute before several bystanders offered their assistance.
I also am curious to know if the response of a bystander is correlated to the amount of training or skills he or she has. For instance, if a jogger in the park collapses, would a bystander with CPR and first aid training be more likely to respond or would the pressure of the group dynamics win out?