Monday, October 15, 2007

The Bystander Effect

Figure 9. The Bystander Effect (Gilovich, Keltner & Nisbett, 2006, pp. 536)

The Bystander Effect Appendix H


1. Theory
I have included four theories, which I have chosen based on the relevant research from a range of different sources. The theories I have chosen I feel best represents the spread of models and are the models that best represent the topic within the strict word limit. Other theories, for example the Social-exchange theory and conflict-decision model do exist, however I could not include them all.

It became evident early on in my research there were a few prominent people in the exploration of the bystander effect, for example Darley and Latané, thus I was able to specifically follow their research. This enabled me to cover a number of angles on the bystander effect. Unfortunately I was not able to add each element of the topic due to word restrictions, but also relevance to the topic.

I have understood the concepts and theories behind the bystander effect and I feel this is evident in my own personal experiences of the bystander effect. I was able to analyse my own thought processes and the actions in relation to Darley and Latané’s multistage model. I was also able to recognise the operation of the bystander effect in my other family members. I then effectively reduced the bystander effect by accepting personal responsibility, giving verbal encouragement to other members of my family to accept responsibility and by ultimately acting by reporting an incident to the police.

2. Research
For my blog I have used a wide range of resources, both primary and secondary sources. Around half my sources come from the last 7 years, this allows my blog to be relevant to modern society. Many of my other sources, such the studies by Latané and Darley, were published just after Kitty’s murder, initially investigating the bystander effect. These studies are valuable as they are the prominent research base of the bystander effect and offer a variety of perspectives, for example in the instance where someone can only hear another who needs help. However, a large gap exists in relation to the research. There is little information on the actual use of the research on the bystander effect. As Latané and Nida (1981) noted in their meta-analysis of the bystander literature, although we have a large body of well-established knowledge, we are no nearer to using this knowledge to ensure that future victims are more likely to receive help.’

Therefore, it was difficult to come up with possible solutions to reduce the bystander effect and I soon found the possible solutions I did find, or came up with applied to not only victims, but also to other bystanders and to society as a whole. However, there is one major flaw with the possible solutions directed at victims, is that if you are unconscious or severely injured you will be unable to state you need help and what help you do need.

Additionally, I found it difficult to find recent articles on the bystander effect. This was not because I simply did not look; I searched through numerous books and also on online journals. I even tried searching the internet for contemporary information; however this did not yield much that was valid. The best information I have found was from dated papers.

3. Written Expression
The readability of this blog has improved since blog 1. This is evident through the readability analysis of my second blog. On each of the scales, I scored better than on blog 1. These results are still far from perfect, but evidently improving.

On the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 28 (last blog 21)
Ideally, web page text should be around the 60 to 80 mark on this scale. The higher the score, the more readable the text.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 14 (last blog 16)
Ideally, web page text should be around the 6 to 7 mark on this scale. The lower the score, the more readable the text.

Gunning-Fog Index: 23 last blog (last blog 24)
Ideally, web page text should be between 11 and 15 on this scale. The lower the score, the more readable the text. (Anything over 22 should be considered the equivalent of post-graduate level text).

To increase the readability of my blog and to ensure my ideas were not confusing, I asked two people to proof read it. This ensures that people who are studying psychology and also people who are not knowledgeable in the area of psychology can still gain meaning from my blog.
I have used; headings, graphs, smaller paragraphs and have included an abstract to increase my written expression. Additionally, I have used several appendices and also links to multimedia and images, to cater for people who learn through different mediums. I think this is important as some people prefer to watch a multimedia clip, or look at a cartoon rather than reading a large article of work. The representation of ideas through different mediums is particularly important with regards to the bystander effect, as we want to educate as many people as possible. Thus, pure text would not entice everyone to learn about the effect. Furthermore, in my appendices I have included definitions that help with the readability of my blog, sometimes people can become lost through the excessive use of psychological terms.

My APA style I think is relatively accurate. I have read and reread my blog so many times, but there is still a chance that I could have missed a small error. The use of a blog makes it hard to do perfect APA style referencing, for example the ‘References’ are suppose to be indented. However, Blogspot does not allow the ‘tab’ option to work.

Word Count: 1,500.

4. Online engagement
My online engagement I feel has highly improved from my last blog. My postings on my blog have increased and also my blogs on other people’s pages has also increased. I feel three factors resulted in my increased contributions. Firstly, I became more comfortable with this mode of communication and assessment. Secondly, people have become more involved and therefore there is a wider range of topics being represented on people’s blogs, especially because everyone now has a different topic. Lastly, as everyone has selected a different topic I was not reluctant to put my ideas and research on my blog early (actually I think I was first).

My online engagement would have been better if I had emailed discussion points to the unit as a whole, however as far as commenting on other people’s blogs and publishing posts and comments on my page, I think my engagement was good. This was evident in that I received two stars during the first two weeks after the first blog was submitted. On my blog page I also created a poll to encourage involvement from other students. My second blog was also uploaded early to allow people to comment and add suggestions. I was able to act on these suggestions to increase the readability and lay out of my blog.

However, in saying this I did not write my draft straight onto a blog. But this was not without reason. I found that by typing my essay straight onto a blog, I could easily misspell words and not even realise. This would affect my written expression component, and hence I chose to write my blog into a word document first, and then paste it onto my blog. By uploading my blog early it enabled people to comment, and hence I was still able to reach the communication component.

List of contributions:
On other people’s pages
1. on Luke Muller’s Page in relation to his social-self on Emma’s Page in relation to Aboriginal Stereotypes in Australia
2. on Mrs Freud’s Page in relation to the Short Rwanda Video
3. on Beck’s Psych Blog in relation to ‘Can you hear me?’
4. on Josie’s Social Psych Blog in relation to ‘Weekly Quote’
5. on Luke Muller’s Page in relation to ‘Internet Chatroom Parody’
6. on Fi’s Social Psych Page in relation to ‘City to soil project’
7. on Graham’s Blog in relation to ‘Suicide definition’
8. on Zoe’s Social Psych Blog in relation to ‘Witnessing bystander effect’
9. on Mike’s Blog in relation to Week 10 Discussion
10. On Zoe’s Social Psych Blog in relation to the Bystander Effect
11. on Beck’s Page in relation to the Dove Beauty Video
12. on Karen’s Page in relations to the Bystander Effect
13. on Rach’s Page in response to her comment on the Bystander Effect
14. on Jess’s Page in relation to Eccentricity
15. on Amanda’s Page in relation to the Citizens Test

My blog

Friday, October 12, 2007

Reply to Amanda

Amanda raised a good point in relation to an awareness booklet on the Bystander effect. There is a possibility that the booklet will be thrown out with the junk mail or it will not be read. I feel that with any campaign there is a risk that it will not reach the intended audience. For example, with a television campaign, not all people watch tv, or some may watch pay tv, therefore a section of the intended audience is not reached. I have suggested a booklet and also television campaign to combat this problem and will hopefully reach as many people as possible.

Education within schools is definately a must. By educating children we educate the future. But this does not mean we should forget about the current adults, as they also play an important role in society. Research has indicated that by simply knowing about the bystander effect, people become more likely to be aware of the effect and thus intervene. I hope my blog will educate those who read it, and hopefully this issue will become more known.

Thankyou to those who have commented on my blog, voted on my poll and read the blog. I enjoy hearing feedback from everyone, especially on your own experiences of the bystander effect.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Bystander Effect Appendix G

Costs and Benefits of Helping

Figure 8. Some costs and benefits of helping (Baumeister & Bushman, 2008, pp. 282)

The Bystander Effect Appendix F

Darley and Latané’s multi-stage model

Figure 7. Five Steps to helping and the obstacles encountered at each step(Baumeister & Bushman, 2008, pp. 269).

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Bystander Effect Appendix D

The likelihood of bystander intervention decreases when people are in a hurry.

Figure 2. People are more likely to help when they are not in a hurry (Gilovich, Keltner & Nisbett, 2006).

The Bystander Effect Appendix E

Experiments Demonstrating The Bystander Effect

Numerous studies have been conducted to demonstrate the Bystander Effect. These are results from a few of these studies...

Figure 3.
The Effects of group size on helping (Fiske, 2004, pp. 320).

Figure 4 demonstrates the findings of four studies conducted by Latané and Darley.

The Smoke Filled Room-
The subjects were placed in a room alone or in groups of three with other subjects or confederates. They were then asked to fill out some preliminary questions. Soon smoke was pumped into the room through an air vent. Students who were alone reported the smoke 75% of the time, 38% of the students in groups of three acted and only 10% when the subjects were in the presence of two confederates who appeared oblivious to the smoke.

Injured Woman-
The subjects were placed in a room to fill out a survey. During this time they heard a chair fall over and a woman's scream accompanied by claims of being hurt, moaning and crying. Subjects were either placed alone, with a passive confederate, with another subject they did not know or with another subject who they were friends with. 70% of all subjects offered to help. However only 7% of the subjects in the passive confederate condition intervened.

Money Theft (Hand in the till)-
Whilst awaiting an interview, male graduates were witness to a theft (actually a confederate), in one condition the subject was the sole witness and in another, two subjects were present. The 'thief' took money from an envelope on the receptionist's desk, placed it in his pocket and sat back down, when the receptionist left the room. Despite the obviousness of the crime, many subjects claimed they had not noticed the crime. 52% of the subjects who were in the alone condition claimed they had not noticed the theft, while 25% of the Together pairs said that had not noticed.

Beer Robbery-
The robbers (confederates) either in a pair or singly entered the store and whilst the cashier is out back, they walk out the door with a case of beer. This is conducted when either one or two people are in the store and at least one of them at the counter. On the cashier's return, the number of bystanders who; spontaneously mentioned the robbers (20%), reported the crime after prompting from the cashier (51%) and did not report it at all were measured.

Figure 4. Percentages of Single Subjects or Group Helping (Latané & Darley, 1970, pp. 88).

Figure 5 further demonstrates the results of the Smoke Filled Room Experiment.

Figure 5. The Smoke Filled Room Experiment (Myers, 2007, pp. 368).

Figure 6 depicts the bystander effect in relationship to violent theft. Evidently, this is an issue due to the failure for people to act.

Figure 6. Bystander reactions to violent theft (Schwartz & Gottlieb, 1976).

The Bystander Effect Reference List

Baumeister, R. F. & Bushman, B. J. (2008). Social Psychology and human nature (1st ed.) Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.

Bearman, A. L., Barnes, P. J., & Klentz, B. (1978). Increasing helping rates through information dissemination: Teaching pays. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 4, 406-41.

Bickman, L. & Rosen, D. P. (1977). Crime reporting as a function of bystander encouragement, surveillance and credibility. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35, 8, 577-586.

Brown, S. (2000). 500 tips on group learning. London: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Bryan, J. H., & Test, M. A. (1967). Models and helping: Naturalistic studies in aiding behaviour. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 6, 400-401.

Canada’s Safety Council. (2004). Don’t just stand there- do something. Canada’s Safety Council: Canada’s voice and resource for safety. Retrieved September 26, 2007, from

Cialdini, R. (1993). Influence: The psychology of persuasion. New York: William Morrow.

Cohen, S. (2001). States of denial: Knowing about atrocities and suffering. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Darley, J. M., & Batson, C. D. (1973). From Jerusalem to Jericho: A study of situational and dispositional variables in helping behaviour. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 27, 100-119.

Darley, J. M, & Latané, B. (1968). Bystander intervention in emergencies: Diffusion of responsibility. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8, 377-383.

Dovido, J. F. (1984). Helping behaviour and altruism: An empirical and conceptual overview. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.) Advances in experimental social psychology (pp. 361-427). New York: Academic Press.

Fiske, T. S. (2004). Social beings: A core motives approach to social psychology. United States of America: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Gilovich, T., Keltner, D., & Nisbett, E. R. (2006). Social Psychology. United States of America: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Hearold, S. (1986). A synthesis of 1043 effects of television on social behaviour. In G. Comstock (Ed.), Public communication and behaviour (pp. 65-133). New York: Academic Press.

Isom, M. D. The social learning theory. (1998, November 30). Retrieved August 9, 2007, from

Kenrick, D. T., Neuberg, S. L., & Cialdini, R. B. (2005). Social psychology: Unravelling the mystery (3rd Ed.). United States of America: Pearson Education.

Latané, B., & Darley, J. M. (1968). Group inhibition of bystander intervention. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 10, 215-221.

Latané, B., & Darley, J. M. (1970). The unresponsive bystander: Why doesn’t he help? New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Levine, M., & Thompson, K. (2004). Identity, place, and bystander intervention: Social categories and helping after natural disasters. Journal of Social Psychology, 144, 3, 229-245.

Moriarty, T. (1975). Crime, commitment, and the responsive bystander: Two field experiments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 2, 370-376.

Myers, D. G. (2007). Exploring social psychology (4th ed.). New York, United States of America: McGraw-Hill.

Neighbourhood watch. (2007). Retrieved October 1, 2007, from the State of Queensland (Queensland Police Service) 2002-2007 web site:

Neighbourhood Watch grants 2007/2008. (2007). Retrieved October 1, 2007, from the Neighbourhood Watch web site:

Piliavin, J. A., Dovidio, J. F., Gaetner, S. L., & Clark, R. D. III (1981). Emergency Intervention. New York: Academic Press.

Scott, S. L. (2002). The death of James Bulger. Retrieved September 20, 2007 from, the Crime Library web site:

Schwartz, S. H., & Gottlieb, A. (1976). Bystander reactions to a violent theft: crime in Jerusalem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34, 6, 1188-1199.

Shotland, R. L., & Straw, M. (1976). Bystanders response to an assault: When a man attacks a women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34, 990-999.

Silk, C. (2005). Why did Kitty Genovese die? Retrieved September 18, 2007, from The Atlas Society web site:

Smith, E. R., & Mackie, D. M. (2007). Social psychology (3rd ed.). New York: Psychology Press.

Vaughan, G. M., & Hogg, M. A. (2002). Introduction to social psychology (3rd ed.). New South Wales, Australia: Pearson Education Pty Ltd.

Westen, D., Burton, L., & Kowalski, R. (2006). Psychology. Australia: John Wiley & Sons.

Young, S. B., & Baranski, J. V. (2003). Research in moral and ethical judgement: a methodological review. Retrieved September 18, 2007, from

The Bystander Effect Appendix C

Neighbourhood Watch

Neighbourhood Watch is a community based program created with the aim to reduce residential crime. The program encourages interaction between members of society and creates a sense of responsibility between neighbours and immunities (Neighbourhood watch, 2007).

The programs objectives are to:
· Minimise the incidence of preventable crime.
· Deter criminal activity by increasing the probability of apprehension.
· Reduce the fear of crime.
· Increase the reporting of crime and suspicious behaviour.
· Improve the degree of personal and household security through education.
· Expand the program's involvement in wider community safety and crime prevention initiatives. (Neighbourhood Watch grants 2007/2008, 2007).

This program is particularly important in the prevention of the bystander effect as it encourages people to adopt a sense of personal responsibility and also encourages the reporting of criminal or suspicious activity to the police.

The Bystander Effect Appendix B

This is an example of the information that needs to be contained in a booklet, administered to households. It is based on the combination of models and the studies conducted, and also offers specific advice to the Government.

Victim’s Guide to Receiving Help
· Make it very clear that help is needed- don’t expect people to come to this conclusion on their own, as they may not (Canada’s Safety Council, 2004).
· If you are involved in a dispute between a man and a women, the victim must identify that it is not a domestic dispute (Shotland & Straw, 1976).
· Identify someone directly and specifically ask them for help.
· Do not chose a person who looks in a hurry, people in a hurry are less likely to help you (Darley & Batson, 1973)

Bystander’s guide to getting others to act
· Verbally acknowledge the situation, thus reducing any ambiguity for others
· Give verbal encouragements that make other bystanders feel personal responsibility to act, such as ‘it is our responsibility to report this’ (Bickman & Rosen, 1977).
· Act as an altruistic model and intervene in an emergency situation, this defines help as the appropriate response. For example reporting a robbery.

Community and Government Actions
· Increase training in first aid, people who feel competent are more likely to help
· Increase Neighbourhood Watch awareness
· Encourage people that by numerous people coming forward, a greater picture of a crime is created, thus the perpetrators are more likely to be caught.
· Creating altruistic models for young children and encouraging them that intervention (calling 000) in an emergency situation is the correct action.
· Creating/enforcing ‘Good Samaritan’ laws to protect those that do help

The Bystander Effect Appendix A


empathetic concern- response to another person in which the bystander feels compassion

personal distress- experience of anxiety when someone else is upset

pluralistic ignorance- looking to others for cues about how to behave, while they are looking at you; collectively misinterpretation (Baumeister & Bushman, 2008, pp. 270)

The Bystander Effect: Foundations and Solutions

Local government is alarmed by a recent increase in muggings and robberies in the community, often performed in the presence of others (bystanders). As an expert in the area of pro-social behaviour, you have been asked to come up with strategies that will make people more likely to lend assistance in these types of situations. Using at least two relevant theories/models, outline the strategy you would recommend to the government.

The bystander effect occurs regularly within society and allows the occurrence of robberies, muggings and even so far as murders. This bystander effect has become a topic of interest with psychologists. Many models and theories have been created to understand the processes behind this effect. The bystander effect needs to be counteracted to improve the safety and increase help administered to victims within our community. To increase bystander intervention a victim can; ensure someone notices you, decrease the ambiguity of a situation by stating you need help, specifically identify a person to help and describe the help you need. Furthermore governments can increase bystander intervention by creating altruistic models, educating society on the effect and also on what steps to take in an emergency.

Figure 1. The Bystander Effect: Increasing Intervention.

The brutal murder of Kitty Genovese (1968) while 38 people looked on was a major stimulus for social-psychological research into the failure of people to act (Schwartz & Gottlieb, 1976). This “hesitancy to help strangers in an emergency, believing that ‘someone else’ will do something or that we are not suitability qualified to offer the right kind of help” became known as the bystander effect (Brown, 2000, pp. 44). The bystander effect also extends to situations of robberies and muggings.

Several models exist to explain this phenomenon, for example Darley and Latané’s multi-stage model, the social-learning theory and the bystander-calculus model. These models and theories identify two factors which are important in the influence of intervention; the presence of others and emotionality. They are also important in creating recommendations which will increase the likelihood of bystander intervention (Levine & Thompson, 2004).

Darley and Latané multi-stage model of decision-making

This model involves five steps and a person must proceed through each step in order for a bystander to intervene (Darley & Latané, 1968) (see Appendix F).

1- Does the bystander notice an event?
The bystander must first notice the event. Without this vital stage, no help will be administered. The smoke-filled room experiment by Latané and Darley (1968) demonstrates that individuals noticed the smoke before individuals in a group situation. In this study, solitary students often glanced around the room and noticed the smoke in less than five seconds. Those in groups kept their eyes on their work, and took typically 20 seconds (Myers, 2007). Furthermore in the ‘hand in the till’ experiment by Latané and Darley, 52% of the subjects in the alone condition claimed to not have noticed the theft (Latané & Darley, 1970). In order to receive help, you must ensure that people notice the event.

2- How is the event interpreted?
The bystander must then interpret the event as in need of intervention. As stated by Cialdini (1993), often an emergency is not obviously an emergency. A man lying in an alley could be a heart attack victim or a drunk. The ambiguity of a situation causes people to search for social cues. This underlies the theory of social proof where people ‘often take their cues from others when deciding what to think or how to behave in a given situation, especially when they are unsure about what to think or do’ (Silk, 2005). However, one significant complication is that people, not wanting to look foolish, appear ‘poised and unflustered when we are with others’ (Cialdini, 1993). This leads to pluralistic ignorance and thus everyone fails to act. To prevent the need for social proof, a victim should state they need help and what help they require (Silk, 2005). By instructing people, a situation becomes unambiguous and thus victims are more likely to receive assistance.

Often arguments between a male and a female are interpreted as domestic disputes, and thus people do not intervene. These effects were demonstrated in a study which staged a fight between a man and a woman. Seventy percent of the participants interpreted this as a domestic argument and only 4% felt the two were complete strangers (Kenrick, Neuberg & Cialdini, 2005). These findings can assist us in altering situations to increase the likelihood of bystanders intervening, such as by shouting ‘I don’t know you’ and ‘I need help.’ These statements decrease the ambiguity of the situation, destroy the image of a domestic dispute and hence increase the chances of bystander intervention.

3- Does the bystander accept personal responsibility for helping?
Next, the bystander must accept personal reasonability for helping. In the case of Kitty, the bystanders had interpreted the event clearly, however failed to accept personal responsibility (Vaughan & Hogg, 2002). The simple presence of others, which leads to an effect where ‘each person is less likely to help’ is labelled diffusion of responsibility and is a major component of the bystander effect (Cohen, 2001, pp. 143).

Darley and Latané found that a second bystander to an event reduced the probability that help would be offered from around 70% to 60%. Furthermore, when three or four bystanders were present this figure dropped to about 40% or 30% (Young & Baranski, 2003) (see Appendix E). Therefore, to prevent diffusion of responsibility a victim needs to specially identify someone to help. Additionally, research suggests that people who are not in a hurry and those who feel similar to you are more inclined to help and therefore would be the best individuals to seek out for help (Gilovich, Keltner & Nisbett, 2006; Dovidio, 1984) (see Appendix D). To increase bystander intervention children should be taught not to distinguish people based on their group membership, especially when people require help.

4 & 5- What does the bystander decide to do and is help given?
The fourth and fifth steps in this model are dependent upon successfully proceeding through the first three steps. During the fourth step bystanders; calculate the possible outcomes, determine if they have the knowledge to help and decide whether to help (Vaughan & Hogg, 2002). To increase bystander intervention, the victim should direct a specific individual to help them and tell them exactly how to help, for example calling 000. This also reduces audience inhibition where people fail ‘to help in front of others for fear of feeling like a fool is one’s offer of help is rejected’ (Baumeister & Bushman, 2008, pp. 281). Furthermore by educating people on how to act in emergency situations reduces the concern that they are inadequate to help (Bearman, Barnes & Klentz, 1978). By decreasing the ambiguity of a situation, creating personal responsibility and asking for specific actions, a victim can increase the chance of bystander intervention.

Bystander-calculus model

The bystander-calculus model is a combination of cognitive and physiological processes. The bystander must calculate the perceived costs and benefits of providing assistance (Piliavin, Dovidio, Gaetner & Clark, 1981) (see Appendix G). A person must first become physiologically aroused at the sight of another’s distress. Often a person’s heart rate will drop; this is an orienting reaction allowing us to determine the situation, followed by a dramatic rise in physiological reactions. This serves as a defence reaction, preparing the bystander to act. The greater the physiological arousal the greater the chance that the bystander will act. Situational factors, such as the severity and clarity of the situation contribute to the intensity of the physiological responses. Thus if a victim yells that they need help, a bystander’s physiological response will be heightened and hence increases the chance of bystander intervention (Piliavin et al.).

Secondly, this reaction must be labelled as either personal distress or empathetic concern (see Appendix A). Bystander intervention reduces the anxiety of personal distress and thus is a self-serving need. Empathetic concern on the other hand is motivated by the concern for another (Piliavin et al., 1981).

The third process is to evaluate a bystander’s options. A bystander will weigh the costs of direct helping and indirect helping and will chose the action that will reduce personal distress to the lowest cost (Piliavin et al., 1981). To reduce the concerns of bystander intervention, ‘Good Samaritan’ laws can be created and enforced to ensure people who help are not litigated against.

Social-learning theory

The social learning theory states that individuals learn and model their behaviours by observing others (Isom, 1998). This theory can be adapted to reduce the bystander effect. It was demonstrated by Bryan and Test (1967) that exposure to a prosocial model increases the likelihood of bystander intervention. In this study motorists first passed a woman with a flat tyre and another person assisting her. Then the participants came across another car with a flat tyre. Motorists exposed to an altruistic model were over 50% more likely to help. Furthermore, people in positions of leadership act as role models and thus when they intervene in emergency situations they define help as the appropriate response (Vaughan & Hogg, 2002; Smith & Mackie, 2007). Therefore by making altruistic models available to adults and children, for example through television campaigns, this will encourage assistance in emergencies (Hearold, 1986).

My strategy is as follows:

By the end of 2008, develop and screen an ‘awareness campaign’ designed to raise the public’s awareness of common situations that require intervention. The ‘short film’ style screenings should depict the cues and potential obstacles to intervention as well as demonstrating the expected group behaviour with regards to muggings and robberies. Ideally the campaign should use well known and respected public figures or appropriate models. A government sponsored ‘Tropfest’ type short film competition is one possible option. The campaign needs to demonstrate the ideal actions of both the victim and the bystander, and could be produced in a booklet format (see Appendix B). The campaign must be widely administered and target both adult and children audiences. In conjunction, an increase in the awareness of the Neighbourhood Watch campaign would promote personal responsibility, hence heightening the education of this effect and promote helping (see Appendix C).

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D

Appendix E

Appendix F

Appendix G

Appendix H

Reference List

Monday, October 1, 2007

My Own Bystander Effect Experience

Over the weekend I had my own experience with the bystander effect and I will recall the event with reference to Darley & Latane's Multi-stage Model.

On Saturday night my family and I noticed a disturbance (Stage 1- noticing the event). There were a few people outside of one house, however there was no one inside. The three males outside proceeded to destroy the letterbox, tried to kick the door open and attempted to jump over the fence into the backyard (Stage 2 - interpreting the event). The immediate neighbours to the house were drawn out of their home by the racket.

My mother and I talked about calling the police, however my brother stated that the people who were ouside watching on had probably already called the police. Therefore he assumed no personal responsibility to take any action as someone else would do it(bystander effect). However, after reading about the bystander effect I encouraged mum that we probably should still call the police (Stage 3-personal responsibility). I rang and recalled the details to the police and they said they would send a car around to check (Stage 4 & 5- deciding to act and acting).

I have previously become a bystander who does not intervene but after this assignment I am beginning to change my ways.