The Bystander Effect – People are less likely to provide help when there are other bystanders.
The discussion in class about Kitty Genovese really got me thinking about why people didn’t help, which could have prevented her death. Seeing an accident some of us think, “oh someone has already probably called the police and helped them.” We are quick to assume that other people have already come the aid of the person in need of help.
The other big reason why people don’t stop to help is because no one else is stopping. If no one else acknowledges that there is an emergency and help is required, we assume that we have misjudged, and that no help is required.
This really made me think how easy is it to ask someone, “hey are you ok, do you need help?”
I hope I don’t readily assume that someone else will help when I see someone in need of assistance. With stories like Kitty’s, I hope we all are more quick to offer help.
To end on a lighter note, here is a funny clip from Seinfeld about bystanders.