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Bystander effect

The bystander effect, or bystander apathy, is a social psychological phenomenon in which individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim when other people are present. The greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any one of them will help. Several factors contribute to the bystander effect, including ambiguity, cohesiveness and diffusion of responsibility. Research has shown that the term “bystander apathy” is an incorrect description because people feel genuine concern for the victim.

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This is a video that actually discusses the bystander effect with a middle school assembly and explains how to beat it. One way? If you need help, don't cry out, "Someone help me!" Instead, target someone specific. "You in the baseball cap and the red sweater. Please call 911--I need help." It places the responsibility to call on one person rather than everyone in the vicinity.

Contributed by Sammo Lea

The bystander effect is one of the more common types of diffusion of responsibility, in which bystanders feel a lessened sense of responsibility help someone in need because they assume someone else has or will help. This video explains that effect and

Contributed by Sammo Lea

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