Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bystander Effect

The bystander effect or bystander apathy is a psych-sociological phenomenon where persons are less likely to get involved in an crisis situation when others are nearby than when they are alone.

Single individuals will typically intrude if another person is in need of help: this is known as bystander intervention. However, research shows that help is less likely to be given if more people are present. In some situations, a large group of bystanders may fail to help a person who obviously needs help.

An example which shocked many people is the Kitty Genovese case. Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death in 1964 by a mentally ill man. The murder took place over a period of about thirty minutes, during which at least 38 alleged "witnesses" failed to help the victim. For this reason, the name Genovese syndrome or Genovese effect was used to describe the phenomenon at the time.

Originally published in Blurtit.com on 24th September, 2006 19:49

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