The Bystander Effect

When you are in a crowd, and someone slips and trips on the ground, you assume that someone else from the public will help them instead of stepping in yourself. This tendency for people to be inactive in emergencies due to other bystanders’ presence is known as Bystander Effect. Thus, people tend to help more when alone than in a group.

Decision Model of Helping

Decision Model of Helping by Latané and Darley (1970)

Latané & Darley (1970) formulated a five-stage model to explain why bystanders in emergencies sometimes do and sometimes do not offer help. The five stages are:

  1. The bystander must notice that something is amiss.
  2. The bystander must define that situation as an emergency.
  3. The bystander must assess how personally responsible they feel.
  4. The bystander must decide how best to offer assistance.
  5. The bystander must act on that decision.

Why does the bystander effect occur?

A few reasons causing bystander effect are:

  1. Diffusion of Responsibility: Occurs when duty/task is shared between a group of people instead of only one person.
  2. Evaluation Apprehension: Refers to the fear of being judged by others when acting publicly.
  3. Pluralistic Ignorance: Results from the tendency to rely on others' overt reactions when defining an ambiguous situation.

The Story of Everybody, Somebody, Anybody And Nobody

It’s the story of four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done, and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

Conclusion: No one took responsibility, so nothing got accomplished.

Just getting started. . .