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Bystander Effect

Definition

Individuals who see or hear an emergency (but are otherwise uninvolved) are called bystanders. The bystander effect describes the phenomenon in which such individuals are less likely to seek help or give assistance when others are present. This does not mean that bystanders are apathetic to the plight of others, for bystanders often show signs of distress, anxiety, and concern if they delay responding or fail to respond at all. It also does not necessarily mean that a victim will be less likely to receive help as the number of bystanders present increases—after all, the greater the number of other people present, the greater is the likelihood that at least one of them will intervene. In the event of a medical emergency, for instance, a ...

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