Welcome back. today we're going to talk about Bystander Interference, and by the end of this lecture, you'll have a good sense of what that is. But to give you the context, this is, this is the situation in which this research really got spawned. There was a time in American culture around the 50's kind of think of the 50's as we go into the 60's and then onwards into the 70's where people were moving out of the country and into cities. So large cities were really becoming a phenomenon a fixture of the land. But along with that came a, a little bit of worry. What happens when you take a bunch of people who usually are sort of spread out and you bring them all together? Does something change about them? Do they actually become perhaps less human? You know that, that impression we all have of, of a cold city, going to a city where no one wants to talk to you, no one wants to acknowledge you. Well, the worry was that it actually even extended beyond that, that it wasn't just personal interactions. But that maybe it even extended to situations where people needed help and others were no longer willing to provide it. That's what we call bystander interference, coming in and helping someone. That's what we're going to talk about. All right, so week six, lecture five, bystander interference really a lot of the thought about bystander interference and a lot of the research. Was spawned by a case of Kitty Genovese. Kitty was a young woman who was walking home one night relatively late in the evening. and she was walking by a, an apartment building, an apartment building. It was a warm summer evening, and so it was an apartment building in which many of the windows were open. many people were there, so lights were on in the apartment building. and Kitty was just walking home. At one point she got, under a street light, and at that point an assailant Moses attacked her. Seemingly randomly attacked her with a knife. Stabbed her three or four times. Now, as you would imagine in that situation, she was screaming out. She was horrified. She was yelling for help and this did get some attention. Apparently at least one person came to a window and yelled out something like, what's going on down there? and that was enough to scare away Moses. for a little while. And enough time for Kitty to run. She, she was still, you know, up. She was still functioning, and she wanted to get away. So she tried to get away. She ran towards another apartment building. And Moses caught up with her, and ultimately killed her. Now the thing that really scared people about the story, was the fact that there was an estimated 30 or 40 people in these two building, who police thought and reporters thought, should have been aware of what was going on. They should of at least heard the screams again, windows were opened. and, and they might of even been able to actually see what was happening down below. And yet a surprising few of them seemed to do anything about it. Nobody emerged, nobody came out to help Kitty. you know there was that gentleman that yelled down. and, and depending on what you believe, there were or were not some reports to the, to the police. there was no 911 at the time. so it wasn't as easy to kind of just bring help on as it is now a days. but you can still call the police department and, and I think some people did, but not that many. And, and that's what kind of, really, stirred up this notion that, you know, these are city folk and city folk just don't care. They don't want to get involved, they don't want to help. But something about living in the city has destroyed these ties that, that make us human. And, and make us willing to intervene, and to help. and that, that's what was going on. Well, is that's what was going on? a couple of researchers especially wondered about that, and they thought. Well this is an issue that deserves some psychological investigation. Because maybe it is a reflection of city life, but maybe it's a reflection of something else. And in fact they ended up thinking it was something else. Let's move to that. So, there was a whole bunch of experiments that have been done on this phenomenon since. And, they come in, in, in a number of different forms. I have some videos at the end so that you can see some of the original experiments. but basically, the idea is you present some sort of emergency. to people in the classic studies, people were sitting at a desk, they're asked to fill out a survey and smoke started wafting out of a room. But, in other studies somebody lays like they're hurt and they need help and other people are introduced to this person. And the question in all cases is, will people who see this issue do something about it? Will they act? And the fascinating finding was, well the likelihood that they will act depends on the number of other people present in that context. If something happens and it's just you. So if there's somebody on the ground that needs help, and there's nobody around to help, but you, chances are very high, now look at this graph structure, almost 90%, very high you will intervene, that you will do something about it. But as soon as we start having other people in the context the probability of you helping declines in fact the probabilities of anybody helping declines. So the problem that Kitty had wasn't so much that she was in a city but that there were so many people. Who theoretically could have intervened and the notion is the more people there that could help the less likely that anyone will. Kind of counterintuitive. Not necessarily what you'd think. Well, why is this assumed to be the case? It's typically contributed to something called diffusion of responsibility. So, imagine we have you know, this person who's, who's killed a victim. The notion is that, let's focus first here because this is the bystander interference kind of notion. the idea is that if there's 40 of us that could help, then it's not so urgent that I help. That the responsibility for doing something is diffused among all of those people. And so that you can feel like, well maybe I should help. But they should sort of help, too. And if they're not helping. Then, then maybe I don't have a responsibility to help so that there's some sort of conformity remember conformity effect that's kind of going on there and some sort of just general spread of the responsibility which makes your portion of it feel smaller. On top of that is this notion of, of, of what we have authority here. But this idea that well, if there's 40 of us watching, there's probably somebody who's much better equipped to intervene than I am. You know, maybe in the Kitty Genovese case, maybe there's somebody in this building with a gun. Or maybe there's somebody with martial arts training, or a boxer, or just a big strong person. Somebody who's better able to take on an assailant with a knife than I am. or in the case of someone's that hurt on the street, you might think there must be somebody with first aid, maybe even a doctor. Somebody who knows what to do more than I do. So if there's a bunch of people, you have that feeling. If it's just you Well then, you're it, you know? You don't assume somebody else is in a better position to help. And so you're more likely to take the reigns. So just a fusion of responsibility is, is really kind of critical. note that there's also. This, this, just, while we're talking upon diffusion on this figure. We also show the, what's called diffusion through distance. And the notion there is that even the perpetrator of a crime can feel less responsible if the crime or if the horror they are committing is happening more distant from them. So if you were in a position to kill somebody and let's even say in a military situation where you have to kill somebody If that person is in your face, and it's hand to hand combat, and you kill them. You often feel very responsible for that killing. The more distant you are, if you were to kill them as a sniper, let's say. Snipers typically don't feel the same amount of guilt. This is just a little target down there. And let's take it another step. If you're a bomber in a, in an airplane and you're just dropping bombs. Now you don't even see the people. That you're killing. You may be killing many more people and maiming many more people, but the distance somehow makes you feel less responsible, diffuses the responsibility. That's true of, of the actual person doing the act. And it's also true of the people watching. So if you feel that, that person in need of assistance is more distant from you in some way. so you, you know, very likely to help a relative, for example, or very likely to help a friend. but the more distant that there is, the more distance there is between you and the victim, the less responsible you feel for helping them as well. So all of these things, assuming somebody is better equipped. just a fusion just because many people could help. And this diffusion of, of through distance, and, and this one is kind of a city thing, right. It's, chances are that nobody in that building knew Kitty. she was just a, a random woman to them, and that's the point where the city stuff starts to, maybe, make a little more sense. That in the country, there's a higher chance that when somebody's a victim of something, you know them. You're closer to them and you're more likely to help. In the city, maybe that is really a little eroded. But it's more than just city people are cold. There's a much more complex story. yeah. Kind of an interesting one. All right here's some, some videos. So, the first one really walks you through the Kitty Genovese case and some of the early experiences on bystander intervention. So you can kind of see some of these in action, get a better sense of how you would study this in a lab. This is one of these hidden video shows to an extent. It's one where it seems as though some, a mother has left a very young child in a car with the windows up on a hot day, and it's looking at whether people intervene. Who intervenes and why? It's not so much about that group effect we've been talking about. But I think it's a very interesting provacative bit of video related to the same phenomenon. So I'll let you think about that a little bit. here's a reading on diffusion response of responsibility in general. and one specifically relating that to the bystander interference effect. So again, a few more things to flash out, get a bigger sense of this phenomenon. and again one that you will probably encounter, throughout your life when you see people in need of aid. And now you'll have a better sense of why sometimes people help and why they don't. and that counterintuitive notion that the more people that can help. The less likely they will. Kind of fascinating psychology is cool, I keep telling you. Psychology is cool , alright see you in the next lecture. Have a great day. Till then, bye bye.