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Switch to Forum Live View The Bystander Effect - Evolving to Extinction?
5 years ago  ::  Apr 27, 2009 - 11:26AM #1
Adelphe
Posts: 28,736

"The bystander effect is a social psychological phenomenon in which individuals are less likely to offer help in an emergency situation when other people are present. The probability of help is inversely proportional to the number of bystanders. In other words, the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any one of them will help.


...The bystander effect was first demonstrated in the laboratory by John Darley and Bibb Latane in 1968.[3] These researchers launched a series of experiments that resulted in one of the strongest and most replicable effects in social psychology. In a typical experiment, the participant is either alone or among a group of other participants or confederates. An emergency situation is then staged — examples include smoke pouring from a vent in the room, a woman falling and becoming injured, a student having an epileptic seizure, etc. The researchers then measure how long it takes the participants to act, and whether or not they intervene at all. These experiments virtually always find that the presence of others inhibits helping, often by a large margin.

There are many reasons why bystanders in groups fail to act in emergency situations, but social psychologists have focused most of their attention on two major factors. According to a basic principle of social influence, bystanders monitor the reactions of other people in an emergency situation to see if others think that it is necessary to intervene. Since everyone is doing exactly the same thing (nothing), they all conclude from the inaction of others that help is not needed. This is an example of pluralistic ignorance or social proof. The other major obstacle to intervention is known as diffusion of responsibility. This occurs when observers all assume that someone else is going to intervene and so each individual feels less responsible and refrains from doing anything.

There are other reasons why people may not help. They may assume that other bystanders are more qualified to help, such as doctors or police officers, and that their intervention would be unneeded. People may also experience evaluation apprehension and fear losing face in front of the other bystanders. They may also be afraid of being superseded by a superior helper, offering unwanted assistance, or facing the legal consequences of offering inferior and possibly dangerous assistance..."  Bystander effect, wikipedia


Some associated concepts:  deindividuation, social loafing, conformity...


The "Bystander Effect" offers us many psycho-social implications to contemplate, including the pro-social aspects of evolutionary theory.


Thoughts?


 

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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5 years ago  ::  Apr 27, 2009 - 12:00PM #2
F1fan
Posts: 11,696

I remember this from psychology classes.  There are many theories that explain how the mind processes information of the immediate environment when  making decisions.  I think it was Blu who started a thread about how many decisions are made in the mind before they become conscious to the individual.  Many decisions are made automatically and without deliberate thought or consideration.  The bystander effect shows how people defer responsibility when there are many others around a given situation.  


An example would be that if you and a friend were eating and he/her began choking, you would be the only hope, and would attempt the Heimlich Maneuver because you saw it in a movie once.  If you were in a crowded restaurant you might assume there was someone else who was more competent to help than you.  You might yell "Is there a doctor in the house?" assuming you weren't worried about the cliche, but you probably wouldn't act.


I don't see how this supports your title "evolving to extinction".  If anything, bystanders are deferring to more competent help by not acting, thus increasing the chance that competent help steps in.

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 28, 2009 - 7:17AM #3
Adelphe
Posts: 28,736

Apr 27, 2009 -- 12:00PM, F1fan wrote:


I remember this from psychology classes.  There are many theories that explain how the mind processes information of the immediate environment when  making decisions.  I think it was Blu who started a thread about how many decisions are made in the mind before they become conscious to the individual.  Many decisions are made automatically and without deliberate thought or consideration.  The bystander effect shows how people defer responsibility when there are many others around a given situation.  


An example would be that if you and a friend were eating and he/her began choking, you would be the only hope, and would attempt the Heimlich Maneuver because you saw it in a movie once.  If you were in a crowded restaurant you might assume there was someone else who was more competent to help than you.  You might yell "Is there a doctor in the house?" assuming you weren't worried about the cliche, but you probably wouldn't act.


I don't see how this supports your title "evolving to extinction".  If anything, bystanders are deferring to more competent help by not acting, thus increasing the chance that competent help steps in.




You can't be serious.  Like "deferring to more competent help" in the Kitty Genovese case which precipitated the study of this phenomenon?  Bystanders "deferred to more competent help" until her death.


ETA:  And, yes, I would act (and do) in emergency situations.  I know people, however, who wouldn't and don't.


What separates the actors from the bystanders?

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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5 years ago  ::  Apr 28, 2009 - 7:26AM #4
Don't_Be_Captious
Posts: 1,035

Why did you make this thread?  What is your overarching point?  (before I argue against you or what I think you're saying, then you claim I'm making a strawman)

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 28, 2009 - 7:29AM #5
Adelphe
Posts: 28,736

Apr 28, 2009 -- 7:26AM, Don't_Be_Captious wrote:


Why did you make this thread?  What is your overarching point?  (before I argue against you or what I think you're saying, then you claim I'm making a strawman)




LOL!


Why do I have to have a point?


Can't you just comment without knowing what my next "move" will be (if any?)


:p

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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5 years ago  ::  Apr 28, 2009 - 9:58AM #6
Kwinters
Posts: 22,156

Apr 27, 2009 -- 11:26AM, Adelphe wrote:


"The bystander effect is a social psychological phenomenon in which individuals are less likely to offer help in an emergency situation when other people are present. The probability of help is inversely proportional to the number of bystanders. In other words, the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any one of them will help.


The "Bystander Effect" offers us many psycho-social implications to contemplate, including the pro-social aspects of evolutionary theory.


Thoughts?


 




 


 


Of course the pro-social aspects of evolutionary theory relate to KIN, not to strangers.


'Evolutionary biology identifies four basic mechanisms to explain the evolution of cooperation in nature: (1) kin selection (or "inclusive fitness"), (2) cooperation for mutual advantage (or "byproduct mutualism"), (3) reciprocal altruism, and (4) group selection....'


 


- EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY by Todd J. Zywicki


 See also: plato.stanford.edu/entries/altruism-biol...

and especially:


plato.stanford.edu/entries/altruism-biol...

'Kin selection theory predicts that animals are more likely to behave altruistically towards their relatives than towards unrelated members of their species. Moreover, it predicts that the degree of altruism will be greater, the closer the relationship.


In the years since Hamilton's theory was devised, these predictions have been amply confirmed by empirical work. For example, in various bird species, it has been found that 'helper' birds are much more likely to help relatives raise their young, than they are to help unrelated breeding pairs. Similarly, studies of Japanese macaques have shown that altruistic actions, such as defending others from attack, tend to be preferentially directed towards close kin.


In most social insect species, a peculiarity of the genetic system known as 'haplodiploidy' means that females on average share more genes with their sisters than with their own offspring. So a female may well be able to get more genes into the next generation by helping the queen reproduce, hence increasing the number of sisters she will have, rather than by having offspring of her own.


Kin selection theory therefore provides a neat explanation of how sterility in the social insects may have evolved by Darwinian means....'


 


It's fine to criticise theories, but you have to UNDERSTAND what they actually state FIRST.


 


One explanation which comes to mind is Olson's logic of collective action - the more people are responsible for something the less any one individual feels obliged to make a contribution.


A perfect example of this is the phenomena of climate change and how any one individual can reduce their carbon footprint.


 


 

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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5 years ago  ::  Apr 28, 2009 - 11:20AM #7
F1fan
Posts: 11,696

Adelphe:


You can't be serious.  Like "deferring to more competent help" in the Kitty Genovese case which precipitated the study of this phenomenon?  Bystanders "deferred to more competent help" until her death.


No, the deferment to more competent help was in reference to the example of a choking victim in a crowded restaurant.  I didn't say that is the subconscious attitude in all cases.


ETA:  And, yes, I would act (and do) in emergency situations.  I know people, however, who wouldn't and don't.


What separates the actors from the bystanders?


Well, awareness of this theory of behavior is one way yo override the subconscious.  And like most behaviors, there are exceptions to the general trend.  A person who is trained in emergency care WOULD likely step in and help a choking victim since that person is experienced and competent.  You could read about the reasons for the bystander effect in various sources.  I don't see how it backs up your title.

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 28, 2009 - 12:42PM #8
Don't_Be_Captious
Posts: 1,035

Apr 28, 2009 -- 7:29AM, Adelphe wrote:


Apr 28, 2009 -- 7:26AM, Don't_Be_Captious wrote:


Why did you make this thread?  What is your overarching point?  (before I argue against you or what I think you're saying, then you claim I'm making a strawman)




LOL!


Why do I have to have a point?


Can't you just comment without knowing what my next "move" will be (if any?)


:p




 


Oh, okay, it's like that.  Now that I understand better...


I think you're trying to say something along the lines of, "People behave like sheep when they're in crowds."  Further, that, for example, atheists & scientists & people interested in science and/or atheism, esp. when they make arguments about the nonexistence of god, the material basis of consciousness, etc., are really just being sheep, following the cues of the cool kids, leading materialists & atheists around them.


Which would be clearly ludicrous.  If that's what you were saying.

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 28, 2009 - 8:09PM #9
caduceus
Posts: 1,274

It's conditioning.
We are conditioned from childhood to believe that everyone has their place and skills and that there is a hierarchy above us - there will be someone out there better qualified.
This is instilled to retain control and authority in a further hierarchy from parents, education upwards to government.
Our true aspirations are subdued in that we must conform and qualify in order to rise in status.
I note with interest that the poster who puts the most emphasis on education and conformity is also the one who quotes from higher sources as if they had no right to their own opinion.
It obviously works, but does nothing for the Samaritan because it panders to our baser instincts. It is for this reason alone that human behaviour can be compared to those of insects.

Peace
AL

“We live at the level of our language. Whatever we can articulate we can imagine or explore. All you have to do to educate a child is leave him alone and teach him to read. The rest is brainwashing.”
Ellen Gilcrist
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5 years ago  ::  Apr 28, 2009 - 8:29PM #10
REteach
Posts: 14,821

Apr 28, 2009 -- 12:42PM, Don't_Be_Captious wrote:


 


Oh, okay, it's like that.  Now that I understand better...


I think you're trying to say something along the lines of, "People behave like sheep when they're in crowds."  Further, that, for example, atheists & scientists & people interested in science and/or atheism, esp. when they make arguments about the nonexistence of god, the material basis of consciousness, etc., are really just being sheep, following the cues of the cool kids, leading materialists & atheists around them.


Which would be clearly ludicrous.  If that's what you were saying.





Actually, there is evidence that we do act like sheep in groups.  We are more likely to harm others (from some torture experiments before institutional review boards).  We are less likely to point out mistakes/are more likely to agree with something we can see is incorrect.  


It wouldn't just be atheists--it would also apply to religious congregations as well.


 


The emperor has no clothes, but I don't want to make a fool out of myself by pointing it out, so I'll just keep my eyes focused on his... 

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard was not what I meant...
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