The Bystander Effect and the Good Samaritan Effect

The Good Samaritan parable is a description of a man belonging to an offshoot of Judaism that was despised by the Jews who helped a man beaten by robbers when a priest and an assistant in the Temple passed by on the other side of the road. Today there is a “bystander effect” in which people stand by and watch someone being injured, being assaulted, or dying without rendering any aid, in spite of the “Good Samaritan Law” that holds people must respond to someone in distress if they are able. The more people watching, the more likely no one will help because of the “diffusion of responsibility. People feel less personal responsibility so they are relieved they don’t have to get involved. Many will be recording the tragedy on their cellphones. Our society has taught people not to have the compassion of the Good Samaritan.

The following video explains the bystander effect and experiments showing it in situations with people on the streets.

Heroic Imagination TV

The Bystander Effect
September 28, 2011