The bystander effect occurs when individuals do not offer any means of help in an emergency situation to the victim when other people are present at the scene. Often people believe that it is safe to be in the company of others in a dangerous situation. For example, let's say that a few 13-year-old girls want to go to the mall by themselves. The way that they plead with their parents is by saying, "We will be okay, and there are hundreds of people around us. Nobody will hurt us." Parents sometimes agree and think that it is safe since there are so many people around and nothing bad will happen to their kids. However, the bystander effect proves that this is not always true. What if a child predator in the mall parking lot swooped up the three girls? What would you do in that situation? Would you rush and help and call 911 or would you just assume that someone else had already called the police so therefore it's not your responsibility? Many would think that since there is dozens of people around, somebody else would take action. However, the bystander effect proves that wrong. There has been much research that has found that people are less likely to take action in these instances when there are a lot of other people present. According to our textbook, there are two factors that explain bystander nonintervention. The first is pluralistic ignorance. This is defined as the error of assuming that no one in a group perceives things as we do. Sometimes when we don't see anybody intervening during an emergency, we believe that is actually not an emergency. The second factor that contributes to the bystander effect is the diffusion of responsibility. This is defined as the reduction in feelings of personal responsibility in the presence of others. It's interesting that there are actual obstacles that prevent us from intervening.