Implications of Bystander Effect on the Society

The Bystander effect is a social psychological phenomenon wherein a bystander is unlikely to help someone in need when there’s presence of other people around. The bystander effect, also known as bystander apathy is inversely proportional to the total number of bystanders. The more the bystanders, lesser chances of someone helping the person in need, the lesser the bystanders, the more are the chances of someone helping the person in need.

The main cause of bystander effect is diffusion or diversion of responsibility. The more the number of people, the lesser the chances of someone helping. This is because they think they are less responsible for helping the person as the responsibility is of a greater number of people and not them alone. There have been several cases which have raised this question. But it is more of a mental or a psychological issue. The society, as a whole, is left in a bitter taste as a consequence of the bystander effect.

bystander negatives

Some of the implications of bystander effect on the society are:

  • We follow what we see. Therefore anyone reading about or watching bystander effect in the news is likely to be intrigued and the brain may even feed bystander effect as the standard response to such situations.
  • Society loses individuals to the bystander effect. It is no secret that so many of the people have lost their lives due to the bystander effect. Many others have been critically injured, physically left handicapped or mentally damaged as a direct result of the effect. News channels, newspapers, magazines, the web, all are filled with plenty of cases of human apathy where they fail to react to a situation like humans and just pass the situation as if nothing has happened.
  • As a result of the bystander effect, a morally corrupt society is being formed. Humans are lacking the emotions to help. This is a chain reaction as the youngsters read about the news of someone dying or being hurt because of this effect. They might take that as a normal reaction. There might be situations where kids are accompanying their parents, and their parents don’t act and tell them not to look at what is happening. Everyone, in the end, might start considering this phenomenon as normal, which is nothing more than a social psychological problem or effect.
  • At some point, one of our own might get affected due to the bystander effect. That might turn us into much more sour as a person, without any feelings for other individuals. We might be the victims and not the onlookers someday. The bystander effect will stay the same unless someone breaks the spell.

We can work towards solving the bystander effect by being more proactive, more positive and happier, and by creating a well-knit society. We can together break this bystander effect. One person alone is enough to break the effect. The sooner one person joins to help, more are likely to join and help him. This will work as a chain reaction in the same way but the opposite direction of the bystander effect. Once such occurrences become common, and the news is filled with positive instead of negative news, the world will be fine again.

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