How Does Being in a Group Affect Bystander Intervention

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Bystander impacts how people will react in a certain situation. I think it because our brain reaches maturity in a way that we should have priority first before anything else. For example, if an incident happened on a road, some people are going to the office or somewhere else, the hassle of helping it the number one thing to think. You will be held responsible. You second guess whether you’re going to help or not but when you see people starting to help, you’ll think helping is good. It’s like more like what monkeys see, monkey’s do’s kind of effect. 

And also, being part of a big crowd, you automatically assume that there is someone who has already helped or is going to help that person. People just assume that someone else will do it and they don’t feel guilty because no one specifically asked for their help. It is just a consequence of being part of the society and being selfish, even though it is bad we need to understand that we need to change this kind of attitude. 

The bystander effect occurs when a person fails to render aid to a person when there are other people present, but if intervention is met the simplest thing to do is imagine yourself in that situation, wouldn’t you want to be helped? there is no use leaning on bystander effect or bystander intervention for our indifference. Walking away is the easiest option but being human means standing up for each other and being there for each other. there are many experiments on that, although lately there are many that are fake. It is also known as bystander empathy. based on studies conducted by a professor. They were observing apes which near human behaviour. In the confrontation of the two apes or silverback, most apes do not intervene but just watch instead. 

Kitty Genovese – raped, stabbed to death in front of her apartment. The attack took place for over 30 minutes, there were several dozen witnesses watching the whole attack, but no one reported the incident. Witnesses questioned later said they thought it was a lover’s quarrel than a crime being committed. Being in a group meant that they thought somebody else had reported it to the police. 

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This is not the only time that a group of witnesses did not report an incidence. 19 years later after the Genovese incident in 1983, a woman was gang-raped by several men on top of a pool table. She was 21 years old when this happened. Despite screaming, customers who came to the bar just watched and cheered on. During the prosecution, the victim (Cheryl Ann Araujo) was given the blame by the defendant’s lawyer, this case became known as ‘Big Dan’s Rape’ named after the bar. There are two main reasons why bystanders do not interfere with the first being pluralistic ignorance. 

To call for help the bystander needs to acknowledge an emergency is occurring and that the victim is in need of some assistance whether it is medical or from the police. However, there have been cases just like the Genovese and the Big Dan’s Rape case where witnesses do not think they are witnessing a crime being committed right in front of their eyes. This is usually because of the reaction of others in the group, their reactions will give us judgment on whether you should help or not. It is like the greater the number of people present, the less likely people are to help a person in distress we tend to be more careless. 

Most relevant study I found is the one by social psychologist Bibb Latané and John Darley. Kitty Genovese murder in New York city, she was stabbed to death outside her apartment and her neighbours failed to step in to assist or call the police. Latané and Darley was affected by the bystander effect to the invisible division of responsibility. This was because onlookers are less likely to intervene if there are other witnesses who seem likely to do so. Bibb Latané and John Darley found that the amount of time it takes the participants to take action and seek help varies depending on how many other observers are in the room. In todays world, we can see this more when an accident happens people wait for others to help rather than doing it themselves. 

Additional experiments by Latané and Rodin (1969) found that while 70% would help a woman in distress when they were the only witness. It has many affects like negative outcomes are wide-ranging from minor household issues that housemates collectively avoid dealing with to violence and abuse that go unchecked. The presence of other people creates a diffusion of responsibility. Most people are waiting for others to respond rather than responding themselves. Some do not want to play the heroic part. In groups where there us visual contact, other factors such as social influence may become more important in determining the bystanders’ behaviour. 

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