Causes of the Bystander Effect

The Bystander effect is attributed to:

  • The diffusion of responsibility: bystanders are less likely to intervene if there are other witnesses who seem likely to do so.
  • Social influence: individuals observe the behavior of those around them to determine how to act.
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The Bystander Effect

It happens when the presence of others discourages a person from intervening in an emergency situation. The greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is for any one of them to provide help to a person that is in trouble or distress.

People are more likely to take action in a crisis when there are few or no other witnesses present.

The Bystander effect can be reduced with awareness and in some cases explicit training.

An active bystander is most effective when they assume that they are the only person taking charge; giving direction to other bystanders to assist can, therefore, be critically important.

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The Law Of Effect

Developed by psychologist Edward Thorndike, the law of effect states that any behaviour that is positive or leads to satisfaction in a specific situation is likely to be repeated when that same situation arises again. Behaviours that lead to unease or discomfort tends to not be repeated.

Example: If we practice for a public talk and give an outstanding performance, leading to huge applause and subsequent praise, we are more likely to practice for our next performance.

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The illusory truth effect

It's our tendency to believe false information to be correct after repeated exposure to it.

The illusory truth effect is the reason why advertising and propaganda works.

We become stressful or anxious while packing for a trip, due to us going out of our comfort zone, or in front of uncomfortable and different people.

Our previous good (or bad) travel experience also comes in play.

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