Reducing the Bystander Effect
In this article, the author examines how the bystander effect works and possible ways to reduce this problem. The bystander effect occurs mostly due to the diffusion of responsibility, inhibition of the spectators, cultural influences, and a lack of community between the members of the group. The author proposes that this problem can be reduced if a greater sense of community was created. This sense of community will help individuals break down barriers that inhibit their ability to act.
The article also talks about an experiment where researchers tested the reactions of bystanders when witnessing a mock abduction of a 7-year old girl. The experiment was set up in a public subway station where a fake abductee and a 7-year old girl would act out an abduction scenario. The young girl would create a scene, including screaming fighting, in hopes of attracting an intervention by a bystander. To the shock of the researchers, the majority of the bystanders did nothing to help. Some even walked by without a second glance, even when the girl was screaming.