Bystander Effect

By: Marly Aziz

In a class discussion, we discussed the issue of bystander effect. I chose to watch this video that shows an experiment where people pass out on the ground and the people see the response of others around them.

In this “What Would You Do?” video, I saw that when the poor, drunk person was on the ground no one bothered to help him, but when the well dressed woman fell, it only took a few seconds for someone to help her. I found that very interesting.

What I also found interesting that I didn’t receive a chance to share in class was that the only person that stopped to help the poor, drunk man was a homeless person herself. I thought to myself that because she has been through the same experiences of being homeless as he has, then she understood his situation more than the other bystanders. I also observed that she was limping and had a cane.

Because of this, I inferred that maybe this woman has been through a similar situation as the drunk, homeless man before, and was hurt, but no one really bothered to help her. That’s why when she saw the man, she insisted on trying to get him help, and wouldn’t leave until he was okay. The one news reporter in the video said that she had a deep connection with the homeless man because she gave him a name, “Billy”. Again, that also rang a bell to me because her connection might have been that she was homeless herself, or might have been in a similar situation as him.

What would you do?