The bystander effect | INFJ Forum

The bystander effect

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by AUM, Jul 28, 2010.

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  1. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

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    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSsPfbup0ac"]YouTube- THE BYSTANDER EFFECT[/ame]

    Wow....just...wow


     
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  2. 894tt3h9

    On Holiday

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    It's really sad that this happens. I learned about the bystander effect when I was in a psych class. It makes me wonder if I would be able just to walk by someone if I saw them suddenly faint or if I saw someone being harmed in some way. I think I would feel a lot of guilt and shame walking away. I guess I don't know what I'd do unless I was in that position.
     
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  3. Grey Wolf

    Grey Wolf Airborne all the way!

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    no idea
    ahh depends.. plenty of other factors. where is this located, if the people are rushing, the time of the day, the focus of other people etc etc haha

    but i agree the bystander effects interesting
     
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  4. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    Seeing these sorts of things really gets to me and there is one simple reason why. Once I see one of these sociological patterns, my brain will remember this, and will go through the pains to subvert it. I actually have subverted these rules before. At the age of 9 I saw a woman collapse outside of a super market. I freaked out and ran over to her to make sure she was alright then called an adult to help. When I was younger, I was blind to social rules and 90% of the time it causes problems (such as flashing my family in public, and literally not understanding that what I did was wrong). However at the age of 13/14 I suddenly aquired a shitton of social awareness, and I would no longer do such a thing. However in highschool I began to learn about such rules. Once I did it deeply bothered me that I myself would add to problems by going with the group.

    Since then, any thing such as this I learn about I must subvert it. I actually avoid learning about such things because it causes me an enormous level of disconfort, much more so if I learned that I had done such things in the past. I actually will ask someone if they are alright if I see them in such a situation. Now it is pretty much instinctual, I become scared at seeing such a thing and must help. However I won't do this for everyone. When I am a city I won't stop to see some hobo to see if they are alright because they are often a legitmate risk. Unless I see a physical injury on them, then I simply will not hesitate.

    I will see students on campus preforming psychology experiments. One that stands out to me was one my sophmore year. There were two people holding up signs, both saying "free hugs". One person was announcing it outloud (a girl) and a guy was not saying anything. I went up and hugged the girl, because she was "safer" as she was asking people. I also have a stronger interal resistance to apporaching men (too complicated to explain why in this post) hence the girl was simply a better option. I was on my way to class, but I took around 3 minutes to stand from afar and watch. I only saw 2 people hug the girl in that time after COUNTLESS people walked by her. I also saw no one hug the guy. It truly does shock me.

    In short, social awareness is useful, but it can be very painful / stressfull.
     
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  5. On my own path

    On my own path Community Member

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    I have a somewhat similar approach. I tend to disagree with many social "rules" as they violate my personal ethics and morals. I tend to constantly analyse what I see around me and try to be very self monitoring. After a while subverting or not conforming to social rules that you disagree with can become instinctual after a while
     
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  6. Nucky

    Nucky Regular Poster

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    Yet another reason why conformity sucks.
     
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  7. eidelweiss

    eidelweiss Regular Poster

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    I learned about this in psych class.
    It's sad how many people ignore others in need, but I hate to say I do it all the time.

    One thing you can do to lessen the bystander affect is learn what you should yell when in trouble. My psych professor told us that one yelling 'BURGLARY' instead of 'RAPE' will get more help (even if you are being raped)

    I'm still not sure if he was joking or not, but I plan to just yell 'BURGLARY' every time I'm in danger due to another person.
     
    #7 eidelweiss, Jul 28, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  8. athenian200

    athenian200 Protocol Droid
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    I'm glad there are so many people like me, who don't want to get involved if they're not sure it's safe. In this case, the attacker wasn't even present.

    Surely this justifies my fear of helping out people who are actively being victimized, and choosing to mind my own business. I don't think I should be required to stop and help people if it puts me in danger. Clearly, people have a self-preservation instinct, and a natural tendency not to get involved. I was concerned about people passing unfair laws requiring me to help even if it was dangerous. If this is typical, surely they can't ask such a thing.

    I probably would have helped in the situation above, though, if I noticed the person. After all, whoever attacked them was clearly no longer around, making it fairly safe to help.
     
    #8 athenian200, Jul 28, 2010
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  9. Odyne

    Odyne ===========
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    It also has to do with how the Law views those who call for help for others. In some cases they are viewed as people who offered help and should be thanked and even rewarded, and in other countries they are viewed as suspects of crime and should be interrogated.

    Some people don't want to get involved because, they might be dragged into investigations and suspicions that can be easily avoided if the they didn't get involved at all and just walked by.

    So it's partially because of conformity, and partially because of how such kind acts are reciprocated.

    Personally, I might not be able to help someone because I myself can be clueless or helpless, but I will definitely give the police or an ambulance a call, or alert a guard or security that someone somewhere needs help.

    Also, like we saw in the vid, sometimes all a group needs to take action is for one individual to take initiative, however small it may be, and the rest will fall in place.
     
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  10. Trifoilum

    Trifoilum find wisdom, build hope.

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    It is a sad thing :(
    I did it, and it's always a mixture between conformity ("nobody was helping...."), self preservation ("would I get in trouble if I do..?"), and comfort ("Uuuh, seems lots of trouble."). Shame? Guilt? Of course. But then again... I personally seem to unconsciously regard social anxiety and awareness as worse than guilt and lack of compassion.

    Even in normal, possibly unharming cases such as what @IndigoSensor: had said, I probably would do the same (a.k.a not engaging)
    is there a cure? For this kind of time? To dispel this psychological effect?
     
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    #10 Trifoilum, Jul 28, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  11. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    it is really sad to watch this, I can get really angry over it!

    as for my behaviour. I know I'm not so much of a sheep following the crowd. I think I would be like that first women. Standing there, doubting between helping or not helping. The main reason for me for not helping is safety, as in "it is not save to talk to strange people".

    I'm also amazed by how quicly the "gentleman" was helped and the "poor guy" not. I think people don't want to get involved in the misery of the unfortunate people. They want to act like it doesn't exist. And the gentleman is save (one of us) in that regard.

    for instance it is different to help someone who is a victim of a car crash you witnessed than helping a person that is lying on the street for suspicious reasons. He could be drunk or stoned.
     
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    #11 Morgain, Jul 28, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  12. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    interesting that he got help quicker when he was in a suit. was it really because he's "one of the group" then, though? that's kind of a leap of intuition- it could have been for other reasons, like the way he was lying seemed more distressing, or more people happened to walk by when he was there, or something like that.

    anyway, this kind of thing is not really surprising, i think it's not about people wanting to conform to a group so much as not wanting to interact with a complete stranger who might not appreciate their assistance and could be dangerous. you could tell the people who passed by wanted something to be done - they were simply unwilling to be the first to lend a hand. actually, maybe it is about conforming.. for the sake of preserving your anonymity and consequent freedoms. kind of sad that that would override ethical considerations..
     
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  13. IndigoSensor

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    I think this is one of the reasons I have such an "issue" with group psychology. Many of them state that the reasons for doing such actions apply to everyone, and the fast majority of these researches believe this. I had a bunch of phyche grad students battle against me once because I didn't fit the pattern (from my perspective). The just professed that EVERYONE has the same motivation, and they clearly said everyone, with no accpetion. That is a terrible fallacy if you ask me.
     
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  14. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    I guess it can depend on the situation, but I normally *do* tend to find out if something's wrong, especially if no one else is around - and especially if the person appears poor. I'm more likely to ignore a rich or well-to-do looking individual, because then I think someone's likely to help him or her.

    But then, I'm that crazy weirdo that ends up buying a bum a sandwich, or a jacket.
     
  15. SPQR

    SPQR Community Member

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    That video reminded me of a news article I read once about a man who saw a child playing near a river without any adults near by, but walked on without doing anything because he was afraid to be mistaken for a pedophile. I think that people like that man, and the woman at 2.20 are trapped between two worlds of wanting to help because they see someone who's obviously not alright, but are afraid to because of the possible consequences (like what Odyne said about investigations). Though to her credit, the woman did eventually decide to help after that construction worker asked if everything was alright. I guess it's easier to follow along than instigate action, even though you might be ignoring another human being in pain.

    It was also very interesting that a man in a suit could attract help much faster than a man dressed as a bum begging for help. It sounds cynical, but I suspect that even the most charitable actions has something in it for the person giving out charity. It may be something as innocent as simply feeling good for helping other people, but I suppose in the video's case, a lot of those people were hoping for some sort of monetary reward. Hmm. It's discouraging to think about, but it's important to keep in mind that there are exceptions. Like the man who rescued a guy who had fallen into the subway tracks in New York (seen here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/03/nyregion/03life.html). I don't think he was thinking about rewards when he rescued that guy. That's why we call people like him 'heroes'.
     
  16. bamf

    bamf Is Watching You
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    Hmm, I'm with you on this. I'd much rather help someone who looks down on their luck than someone who looks well-to-do. However if it appears to be a medical emergency, I try to help regardless. Thankfully I've only found someone in a bad situation a few times and I've always had a phone to call for help.

    Someday we'll have to share "bum" stories :m091:
     
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  17. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    I was discussing this with my uncle the last time I visited him. He told me about a homeless man who died laying down on the sidewalk near where he used to work (this is not some remote alley or anything- it is a very well known place), and people stepped over his dead body for 3 days before anyone realized he was dead.

    The more people are around or are perceived to be around, the less a person feels responsible. If you're ever in a bad position with a crowd of people looking at you and need help from them, point at a specific person and ask them to help. That will make it more likely you get help.
     
  18. Quiet

    Quiet i know nothing

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    Ive been think about the bystander effect a lot lately and how it effects everything we do, from the way we treat each other, react in a crisis, and our attitudes, actions/inactions towards our community, local/national and international politics.

    I watched a Cutting Edge doco last year called 'Would you save a stranger'. Its a great doco and unfortunately the full version is not available online. Basically it was based on true events where people were in dire need for help, some recieved help and others didnt. In the instances where there was no one else around, people did help, although there was huge risk of personal injury. But the more people around...
    Here is a trailer:
    [video=youtube_share;JV93m-1hE_Q]http://youtu.be/JV93m-1hE_Q[/video]

    I know i have seen many situations where this bystander effect has occured and hasnt occured. I have the luxury of living in the best country in the world, so here the bystander effect isnt as strong because of the helpful culture. Theres normally more than one person that is willing to give someone a hand. But sometimes it does happen and everyone acts like they are frozen.

    So it got me thinking, clearly this is related to culture and personality. Because often there is someone that is willing to help, or speak out, or stand up for someone, even when its not popular and even when its looked down upon by others. So what is the psychology that makes these indiviudals more likely to help? In my experience, it isnt always the 'nicest' or most 'helpful' person that necessarily helps. Is it basically the person that is best able to conquor that fear and apprehension. Perhaps someone that is more naturally curious? Loving? Or perhaps the people that want to the the 'right' thing, no matter what.

    i guess for me its very simple, i always think that this person could by my daughter, my mother, my sister, my father, my brother. How can i not help? Not helping would always hurt far worse than helping, regardless of the possibility of recieving. The need for action always seems to be just that touch greater than any fear felt in that situation.

    So, expanding from this into politics local/national and international, im thinking that the main reason so many people are apathetic and uninvolved has a lot to do with the bystander effect. Most people think that someone else will do it. So they think they dont have to do anything. They observe and follow cues of the people around them. Are they doing anything, do they care? Oh, they dont, so its okay if i dont care and if i dont do anything. Its got nothing to do with me anyway. Its someone elses problem and someone else will fix it.

    But if its just one or a couple of people, they are more likely to react and take action. Because suddenly they are directly implicated. This probably has a lot to do with why people that live in smaller towns dont lock their doors while those that live in cities feel inclined too. When there is less people around, each person is more accountable. People can see eachother and the roles they play in each otehrs lives. When this is expanded too much, we can no longer see and recognise the faces and we stop feeling accountable and responsible. We lose our ability to empathise as the population seems to vast.

    So this is very cultural. Because if you are surrounded with people that care, more people will want to conform and care as well. The thing that makes this so very difficult is that our modern societies and cultures are geared around fear. The idea that the world is a scary place full of scary people that we need to protect ourselves from. We are taught to fear eveything, even our own bodies, our sexuality, our emotions and feelings. Stranger danger everywhere! Ofcourse there are people that prey on others and take advantage of the vulnerable. But these people are exceptions. I dont always lock my doors. There is plenty of small towns that dont. (The only reason i started is because my sister works for an insurance company and she told me that insurance is void if the the doors are not locked). So i make an effort for her sake.

    Fear and distrust is something that is enculturalised into children through observational learning psychology (observing and mirroring their parents and elders), as well as the environments we create for ourselves. I guess fear is native to the ego as well, because the ego believes in self preservation, yet the spirit always understands that there is nothing to fear because it remembers.

    It comes down to trust. A trusting society is a healthier one. Trust breeds more trust and distrust breeds more distrust.
     
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  19. Hybrid88

    Hybrid88 Newbie

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    It's easy to judge others for not doing anything when we are not in their position. I've been in plenty of situations where I could have done something but didnt. It has something to do with denial of the situation taking place. Fear also plays a big part in it.
     
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