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Stand by: The Power of the Bystander

Steps (and Obstacles) to Bystander Intervention

Dr. H. C. Sinclair

on 26 October 2018

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Transcript of Stand by: The Power of the Bystander

Stand by: The Power of the Bystander
Steps 1: Attention
Step 2: Interpretation
Pluralistic Ignorance
Victim-perpetrator Relationship effects
Step 3: Taking Responsibility
More People --> Diffusion of Responsibility
Social (Responsibility) Norms
Implicit Attitudes
Step 4: Decide how to help
Lack of competence
Lack of scripts
Step 5: Provide Help
Risks and Costs vs. Benefits
Decreased Arousal
Audience Inhibition
Lack of proximity
Steps to
Bystander Intervention
So who wants to be a superhero?
Or a Good Samaritan?
Counter with drawing attention
Check in with your surroundings
Counter with reducing ambiguity, declaring an emergency
Use relationship replacement: Recognize that even if it's personal, it still isn't right.
Recognize when you take double (or triple) takes
Make personal contact by identifying a helper from the group
Also increases public self-consciousness
Once one person steps forward, others follow
Especially if other bystanders are similar (where more people increases the likelihood of helping in high-risk emergencies)
Use social contracts: Elicit agreements beforehand - designate responsibility
Develop extensivity: Consider everyone an ingroup member
Increase self-efficacy
Remind people of what they CAN do
Increase accessibility of social scripts
Media models
Role models
Social roles
Labeling techniques

Understand options
Process consequences of inaction
Induce/increase empathy
Increase proximity
(physical & psychological)
Would you help?
And just by learning this you are 20-40% more likely to help (Beaman et al., 1978)
So put it together...
Why did these people help?
Is it Apathy?
Are they bad people? Immoral? Where's the empathy now?
Is it the individual or the situation?
Current Issues
Be more than a bystander

Seminary students assigned to give a speech on being a Good Samaritan (or about jobs in the seminary), get a call mid-preparation:

"...It'll be a few minutes before they're ready for you, but you might as well head on over..."
"The assistant is ready for you, so please go right over."
"Oh, you're late. They were expecting you a few minutes ago. We'd better get moving..."
You're late for a very important date
"In a fixed effects model, data from over 7,700 participants and 105 independent effect sizes revealed an overall effect size of g = –0.35. The bystander effect was attenuated when situations were perceived as dangerous (compared with non-dangerous), perpetrators were present (compared with non-present), and the costs of intervention were physical (compared with non-physical). This pattern of findings is consistent with the arousal-cost-reward model, which proposes
that dangerous emergencies are recognized faster and more clearly as real emergencies, thereby inducing higher levels of arousal and hence more helping
." (Fischer et al., 2011, pg. 517)
The role of dangerousness
The Higher the Risk....
Research on Bystander Intervention training suggests effectiveness (e.g., Rape prevention: Coker et al., 2011, Katz, et al., 2013; Bullying prevention: Polanin et al., 2012)
Jesse sees a young woman slip and fall on the crowded stairway. A number of his fellow students laugh, and keep walking as the young woman struggles to stand. If Jesse keeps walking because
assumes that others would have laughed at him if he intervened and it turned out it wasn’t any big deal, he is letting his behavior be determined by _______________.
A.) Diffusion of responsibility
B.) Pluralistic Ignorance
C.) Audience Inhibition
D.) Apathy
Devonna sees the same incident keeps walking because she assumes someone else who isn’t in as much of a in as much of a hurry as her, will stop to help. Devonna’s failure to help is due to:
A.) Diffusion of responsibility
B.) Pluralistic Ignorance
C.) Audience Inhibition
D.) Apathy
Neuroscience of Bystanders
Hortensius & de Gelder, 2014
Full transcript