“I don’t need to do the dishes..” Clarissa

Bystander effect: the idea with the bystander effect is that people are less likely to help when there are other people around.  We tend to think that another person will do the job- instead of taking the initiative to do the job ourself.

When all my roommates are in town the dishes seem to pile up and not get down as fast as when there are only two of us roommates home.

This is a very simple example but I thought it was kind of interesting that the bystander effect was happening within the walls of my very own dwelling.  I noticed that when there were only two of us in the apartment- the dishes got done faster(even when we had the same amount of dishes as when there was four of us home).  When all four of us are at home I know that I catch myself thinking “I don’t need to do the dishes .. Kaitlin will probably do them when she gets home.” Did I notice the dishes were in the sink- and they were piling up- “yes”- but I ignored them thinking that someone else would get to them. (I know- its awful!- ha). However, when there was only the two of us left in the apartment- I was much more consciousness of the dishes in the sink (actually there was never any dishes in the sink- we made sure that the dishes were always clean:) and would tend to the dishes whenever they were in the sink.  I knew that if I didn’t do them- they may not get done. There weren’t as many people to count on to do the work.

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  1. #1 by christinesellers on May 29, 2012 - 11:34 PM

    I LOVE that you posted this. I was thinking about this today! I do the same thing on a daily basis… but I’m married. How sad is that? The bystander effect still exists even though there are only two of us responsible for the dished. Just this morning I walked past the sink full of dished and thought to myself “man, I hope those are done when I get home” haha and I know that Collin is thinking the same thing. I am a terribly bystander.
    Christine Sellers

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