InS – The Bystander Effect

How does diffusion of responsibility play a role?
It affects our thinking when it comes to guilt and the amount of people that are around us diffusing the responsibility/guilt if we are to not do it.

Social influence
Social influence is when we look at and follow what other people are doing, whether it be dismissing the problem altogether or actually helping to solve it. It can be a problem when no one actually does anything in the first place, in which no one else will initiate any sort of action.

Audience Inhibition
This makes part of a person’s judgement on if making the problem your own business is either appropriate, or mandatory. There is always the possibility that one offers help when none is needed in the first place, leading to embarrassment and whatnot.

Arousal
Arousal is when our own bodies evoke a decreased heart rate response to the situation when we observe someone in need or in danger. This response can easily be followed up with the fight-or-flight response, mainly when the situation is dire, or is perceived to be an emergency. This arousal state makes us more motivated to actin some way to revert back to a normal state. The stronger the arousal reaction, the more likely someone will help.

Cost-reward
This is the next part to arousal, it is basically the evaluation of the consequences of intervening or not. Rewards can greatly increase the incentive to help however. The cost can be from intervening and not intervening respectively, and the perceived cost usually grows larger with the seriousness of the situation.

Similarity
This is how someone can relate to someone else, whether it be through race, clothing, or stature. If someone is of a similar stature to the one who needs help, then their chances of helping them increase.

Mood
Being in a good mood can encourage attraction towards people that you don’t know, and changes someone’s attention to positive features. This can change the way someone identifies costs can be less thorough, and people will focus less on risk. On the other hand a bad mood however having a less powerful influence, can make the person increase their own self-focus.

Competence and Experience
This is quite simple, if you feel that you have the ability to help and that you have been in the situation many times before, you are much more likely to help. This relates back to the guilt of not helping because now that you are certain that you’re able to help, not helping would be much worse.

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