Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Bystander Effect on Septa"

By: Charnise Gillis

Thanksgiving holiday weekend was one of the first times in a long time I have encountered a Bystander Effect. A Bystander Effect refers to a phenomenon of when the greater the number of people present, the less likely an individual will help a person in distress. A person is more likely to help out in an emergency situation if there are no other observers around. That is totally insane. Why is this statement true? Studies have shown that the presence of other people creates a diffusion of responsibility. This is when people are less likely to take action or feel a sense of responsibility in the presence of a large group of people. If there are other observers during an emergency situation, then many individuals do not feel the pressure to help the person in need. Some people do not take need of action because when other people do not react on the situation then the individual may feel that the response is not needed or appropriate. Also, individuals do not feel the need to intervene on a situation if it is ambiguous.
One night my friend and I decided to travel on the bus and we noticed a man leaned over in his seat. A young lady said that he has been on the bus for two whole hours and have not awakened. I asked, “Did you try to wake him or feel his pulse”, she said calmly, “No”. I told the bus driver and he just seem like he didn’t care and proceeded to drive his regular bus route. A man shouted out, “He must be dead!” Eventually, my friend and I stop came up and I felt so ashamed and sad. Questions raced through my mind asking, “Charnise, Why didn’t you do anything?” My response was because I am always running to someone’s rescue during an emergency situation, and just once I wanted to give someone else a chance to save a life.
What would you have done?

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