What is the bystander effect? – videos
If someone was in need of help, would you just walk on by? This question seems easy to answer in theory – of course I wouldn’t. I’d stop and help.
Unfortunately, most people wouldn’t. This is a situation known as the bystander effect.
Wikipedia defines the bystander effect as:
social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases where individuals do not offer any means of help in an emergency situation to the victim when other people are present
In effect, we conform to the social norm. No one else is helping so neither will we. In fact, you chances of being helped actually decrease if there are more people around. So you are less likely to receive help in a busy shopping street than you are in a secluded alleyway.
This seems hard to believe, surely people wouldn’t be left to suffer on their own?
Take a look at the following video on the bystander effect, it’s shocking:
So what can we do about it? Simple first aid training can help increase your confidence if you ever have to help someone in public.
Have you ever had to help someone in public? Did other people walk on by?