Topic: How The Presence Of Others Affects Individual Behavior

The bystander effect refers to cases where individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim in an emergency when they believe that others are present and will assist.

The bystander effect is another phenomenon that is closely related to the diffusion of responsibility. It refers to cases where individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim in an emergency when they believe that others are present. The probability of helping victims is inversely related to the number of bystanders; the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that anyone of them will help. The mere presence of bystanders greatly decreases intervention because as the number of bystanders increases, any given bystander is less likely to interpret the incident as a problem and less likely to assume responsibility for taking action.


Practice Questions


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MCAT Official Prep (AAMC)

Online Flashcards Psychology Question 1

Sample Test P/S Section Question 45

Practice Exam 1 P/S Section Passage 10 Question 57


Key Points

• The bystander effect refers to cases where individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim in an emergency when they believe that others are present and will assist.


Key Terms

bystander effect: when someone is less likely to help another if other potential helpers are present

diffusion of responsibility: is a sociopsychological phenomenon whereby a person is less likely to take responsibility for action or inaction when others are present.



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