The Bystander Effect By Bibb Latane And John Darley

2801 Words Dec 1st, 2014 12 Pages
Overview On March 13, 1964 thirty-eight neighbors failed to intervene when a 28 year old woman named Katherine “Kitty” Genovese was being murdered behind the building. (Manning, Levine, & Collins, 2007). This incident proposed the experiment of the “Bystander Effect” by Bibb Latané and John Darley, among other scientists, to find out why thirty-eight people had not done anything to help during this situation (Latané & Darley, 1969).
According to Latané and Darley (1969), The Bystander Effect has three main explanations behind it, which includes diffusion of responsibility, evaluation apprehension, and pluralistic ignorance (Darley & Latané, 1968). Diffusion of responsibility withdraws a person from exhibiting a helping behavior when there are other bystanders present because it is expected that others can contribute to the helping behavior, and that the outcome is not just on one person’s shoulders (Latané et al., 2002). On the other hand, when a person imagines that there are no other people present, or that the people present are not able to engage in a helping behavior, a person will act as if he or she was alone and will be more likely to intervene in the situation (Darley, Teger, & Lewis, 1973).
Before acting during an emergency, a person is most likely to scan around and observe whether others are already taking responsibility, or are about to take responsibility for it; if those people in the scene of an emergency are not doing anything, then the person will feel…
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