Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Bystander Effect is taking effect as this uncle rides an electric bicycle into the train...

Watch and tell me what you think of this phenomenon called the Bystander effect or also known as Genovese syndrome.

This may help to explain why nobody intervened to knock some sense into this uncle featured in this STOMP article, "Uncle rides bicycle into MRT and knocks into child. Is it allowed on trains?".

Firstly, MRT commuters monitor the reactions of other people in this 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.

Fancy name for this? 'Pluralistic ignorance' or 'social proof'.

Secondly, due to what's known as 'diffusion of responsibility'. Observers all assume that someone else is going to intervene and so each individual feels less responsible and refrains from doing anything. (A little exception is the Stomper who only took the photo & uploaded it later on. Great 'help' indeed.)

Quoted from STOMP article mentioned above:
STOMPer elindestinee says this uncle's electric bicycle hit a child and other commuters on the train as the train was moving. She wonders if it is allowed on the train.

"I saw an uncle riding an electric bicycle into the train.

"When the train moved, the bicycle moved as well and and hit a child.

"Is it allowed on the train?"

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