Tuesday, May 26, 2020

853: The Bystander Effect Revisited....

It is February 9, 2016, Amsterdam.  It is a quarter to four in the afternoon. A woman parks her car on the quay next to a canal.
In the back sits her toddler. As she gets out of the car it begins to roll towards the canal. She managed to get in the car again but can't stop the car.
It falls into the canal. Quite a number of people witness what is happening and in no time four men jump into the icy water 
and succeed in getting the woman and her child out of the car, that went under seconds later. The whole rescue hadn't taken more than two minutes.
This contradicts the conclusion of Latané and Darley. They concluded, based on experiments with university students, 
that when someone believes that he is the only one who hear a cry for help, he will come into action asap,
but when there are more people present, who also hear the cry for help, there is a (long) delay in coming into action.
When we (subconsciously) believe that it is true, man is selfish and indifferent when it comes to it, you might respond:
your story it is an exception, or there is a difference between Dutch and American culture.
Recall the "I didn't want to get involved" remark in the Kitty Genovese case. Keep in mind, it was 1964 in the US and the man who said these words, that went viral, was homosexual.
He was scared that this would come out, when he got involved. He would lose his job, for homosexuality was then in those days illegal.
And this Abe Rosenthal, chief of the New York Times, was a notorious homophobe. He allowed headlines like "Growth of Overt Homosexuality in the City Provokes a Wide Concern".
This aside, now back to the question: was the rescue an exception? According to Latané and Darley the answer would be YES.
However, the real answer is NO.

Like the Milgram and Zimbardo experiments the Bystander Effect is still in many textbooks with their negative conclusions about man. 
But in 2011 a meta-analysis appeared that sheds a completely different light on the behavior of bystanders. 
Meta-analyzes are research studies in which multiple studies are analyzed. In this case, not only that first experiment by Latané and Darley was included, 
which I referred to in the previous lecture, but the 105 best studies on the bystander effect of the past fifty years. 
The scientists drew two conclusions.  ONE: the bystander effect really exists. 
Sometimes we think we don't have to do anything in emergencies because others can also take responsibility. 
Sometimes we are afraid to do the wrong thing and do nothing for fear of the judgment of others. 
And sometimes we think that there is nothing is wrong, because we see others do nothing as well, 
but then the SECOND conclusion: if there is a life-threatening situation, for instance someone is drowning or someone is attacked  
and if the bystanders can communicate with each other, there is an inverse bystander effect, with a larger number of bystanders leading to more instead of less help.
Richard Philpot is a psychologist at the  Department of Psychology of the Lancaster University, in the United Kingdom.
He and others  examined in 2019 over 200 sets of real-life surveillance video recordings from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and South Africa 
to answer "the most pressing question for actual public victims": whether help would be forthcoming at all. 
They found that intervention was the norm, and in over 90% of conflicts one or more bystanders intervened to provide help. 
Increased bystander presence can increase the likelihood that someone would intervene, even if the chance of each individual bystander responding is reduced.
Conclusion: most people are OK....
Thank you for your attention again ....

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rutger Bregman, "De meeste mensen deugen",, 2019

The Discussion

[13:20] herman Bergson: I can add some more detail
[13:20] CB Axel: I think it might take just one person doing something to encourage others who may have hesitated to jump in and help.
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it seems to happen all the time that people jump in to help
[13:21] herman Bergson: I the NYT the story went that Kitty Genovese was attacked three times and died alone on the stairs...
[13:21] herman Bergson: not true....
[13:21] CB Axel: Fake news?
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): there has been a lot of newer evidence that showed that the original story was flawed
[13:21] herman Bergson: she was attacked twice and Sophie Farrar a friend of hers came to help...Kitty died in her arms...
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): have read several more accounts about that yes
[13:22] CB Axel: On 11 Sept 2001, people did help others in lower Manhattan.
[13:22] herman Bergson: When the journalist was asked, why he hadn' t mention it his answer was
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): omg yes
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): OMG!!!
[13:22] herman Bergson: It would have ruined the story
[13:22] iמʞαʞů (inkaku.capalini): lol! sounds about right
[13:23] herman Bergson: This drive to see homo sapiens as such a horrible creature....while the facts show the opposite...
[13:23] CB Axel: I would have demanded that reporter be fired. And his editor, if the editor new the real story and printed it anyway.
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): agree
[13:24] CB Axel: *knew
[13:24] herman Bergson: His editor was this Abe Rosenthal and Kitty Genovese was lesbian
[13:24] iמʞαʞů (inkaku.capalini): if that happened, we would have no reporters or editors, which would be nice
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): nono
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we need th news more than ever
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and they are getting laid off too quickly
[13:24] herman Bergson: I dont agree Inkaku...
[13:24] CB Axel: Reporters are the only people pointing out corruption.
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): at leat here and now
[13:24] iמʞαʞů (inkaku.capalini): accurate news is very rare
[13:24] herman Bergson: I love Chris Cuomo and Rachel Maddow
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i disagree on that inkaku
[13:25] CB Axel: We need a free press to maintain what's left of democracy.
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): there is some
[13:25] iמʞαʞů (inkaku.capalini): yes, some but not so much in the main stream
[13:25] herman Bergson: We really do, CB
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): layoff today at the Atlantic
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sad
[13:25] herman Bergson: what do you mean GEmma?
[13:26] Jack Lust (jacklust): unfortunately, many people get "news" from facebook
[13:26] CB Axel: The Atlantic is laying off reporters?
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the atlantic magazine laid off 68
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): https://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/reviews/the-atlantic-lays-off-68-employees-or-17percent-of-staff-cuts-pay-for-executives/ar-BB14qa76?OCID=ansmsnnews11
[13:26] CB Axel: Sadly, Jack, I get mine from late night comedians. LOL
[13:26] herman Bergson: The lay of means "to fire people", I assume
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:26] Jack Lust (jacklust): which is more accurate by far Herman
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): nto really fire
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but let go
[13:27] iמʞαʞů (inkaku.capalini): except that technically a lay off is not being fired, same result  though, sort of
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so they can collect unemployment
[13:27] herman Bergson: I guess the journalists in case are free-lancers
[13:27] CB Axel: Well, I guess it's good that they cut executive pay, too.
[13:28] herman Bergson: which you don't need to fire but can put them to the garbage
[13:28] CB Axel: I trust Trevor Noah over anything I read on Facebook.
[13:28] herman Bergson: But why this lay off?
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): listening to a free lancer investigative journalist last week on npr   was veyr worried that they are disappearing and need pay to continue doing their work tho
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): money
[13:28] herman Bergson: Love Trevor :-))
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): less people are subscribing to news
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): in  magazines
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): onn line
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): newspapers
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): especially local ones
[13:29] CB Axel: I subscribe to the NYT online.
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i get it on line too
[13:30] CB Axel: I get local news from a local TV station online stream.
[13:30] herman Bergson: But we were talking about the Bystander Effect ^_^
[13:30] CB Axel: It comes on right after Jeopardy. :)
[13:30] CB Axel: Right.
[13:30] CB Axel: Sorry.
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh yes
[13:30] herman Bergson: No problem CB...
[13:30] herman Bergson: The situation is clear....
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thre have been many many examples of that in the near past
[13:31] herman Bergson: We are allowed to conclude that we are not cold,  indifferent and egocentric.....we need each other  and in distress the norm is that we help each other
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): MOst of us
[13:32] herman Bergson: right Gemma....MOST of us are OK
[13:32] herman Bergson: Never said ...we all are OK
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): nope
[13:32] herman Bergson: And with respect to being OK.....
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone is online.
[13:33] herman Bergson: what shocked me was a tiny remark of Rachel Maddow.....
[13:33] herman Bergson: She was talking about her country.....this great, PREVIOUSLY respected country.......she said....
[13:34] herman Bergson: that shocked me....
[13:34] herman Bergson: My goodness , I thought
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): nt me
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it is sad
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): maybe she's right
[13:34] Jack Lust (jacklust): it's not untrue
[13:34] CB Axel: I respect the US less than I used to.
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): t is a shame
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i am embarrassed sometimes
[13:35] herman Bergson: No...it isn't untrue at all....
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) whispers: to say I am and
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): American
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sad
[13:35] CB Axel: Of course, I was raised learning a white version of history, too.
[13:35] herman Bergson: I think so myself today....
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so embarrassed  another may drop out of this treaty r that
[13:35] CB Axel: I'm not sure the US has ever been all that great.
[13:35] herman Bergson: but to hear it an American say about her own country....
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): OMG!!!
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): omg
[13:35] CB Axel: We're just bigger than most other countries.
[13:36] CB Axel: We're a big bully.
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it certainly has been
[13:36] CB Axel: And now we have a president that personifies that.
[13:36] herman Bergson: Not anymore CB....
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): gave so much aid to many many countries
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that needed it
[13:36] iמʞαʞů (inkaku.capalini): lol...ugh
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): Worked with the United Nations so well
[13:37] herman Bergson: Yes GEmma....the US always took the lead.....
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no Marshall plan where would Europe BE????
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): still
[13:37] herman Bergson: and in this COVID crisis the US is the biggest victim
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): after so many years
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): blames this administration for being so so slow
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh it will be nothing
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): will go away
[13:38] herman Bergson: What is the Bystander Effect here...? :-)
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well
[13:38] herman Bergson: All other countries are bystanders and not a single one offers help
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thre are those still fighting the good fight
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh we did get some help
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): from other countries
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not free help
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but got it
[13:39] herman Bergson: Just have a look here... https://www.endcoronavirus.org/countries#action
[13:39] herman Bergson: It shows you the international situation
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): butThose need to take action in themselves
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): look at Brazil
[13:40] herman Bergson: Another idiot at the top
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is a disgrace ...same kind of leader yes
[13:40] CB Axel rolls her eyes at Brazil
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): tsk
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): cousin of Trump
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think
[13:40] CB Axel: Brothers from another mother? LOL
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:41] herman Bergson: of course :-)
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i am begining to think they are all children of Mendel
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): spelling
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): remember the experiments???
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): who knows
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not mendal
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wht was his name??
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): during the WW
[13:42] herman Bergson: That German doctor..?
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) whispers: in Germany?
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ys!!!
[13:42] herman Bergson: Mendel...
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok ol
[13:42] CB Axel: Mengolas or something like that?
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:42] herman Bergson: It is a sad thing to see, that most people are OK, but some in high places aren't and cause the death of many
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sigh
[13:43] CB Axel: Mengele?
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Mengele
[13:43] herman Bergson: thats the name CB
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Joseph
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): there we go
[13:43] herman Bergson: Mengele...yes
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:43] herman Bergson: Mendel was that monk who discovered genetic relations
[13:44] CB Axel: Yes. With pea plants.
[13:44] herman Bergson: Right :-)
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well and Mengele was fooling around with it
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): still sees so many with good intentions and actions
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so people are ok
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): mostly
[13:45] roos Gartner is offline.
[13:45] herman Bergson: Yes Gemma I agree....
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) whispers: looks at beetje in dress down
[13:45] herman Bergson whispers: Wondered too who she was mourning
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the wedding maybe
[13:46] herman Bergson: Well folks...cheer up.....
[13:47] herman Bergson: We have proof now that most people are OK in distress situation....so no worries and stay healthy :-)
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): trying
[13:47] herman Bergson: Unless you have that final question......
[13:47] herman Bergson: Class dismissed :-)
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): really need a haircut tho
[13:47] CB Axel: I need a haircut, too. :(
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sigh
[13:47] herman Bergson: Me too :-)))
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): you ??
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) whistles for their horse.
[13:48] herman Bergson grins
[13:48] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you Herman and class!
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I am past boris johnson now
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Herman grows taller than his hair
[13:48] CB Axel: LOL

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