Episode 44: Beating the Bystander Effect

Ari and Matt discuss the factors that contribute to the bystander effect and how we can educate to reduce those factors. And why aren’t schools teaching this stuff to every school?

Download the mp3 here.

4 thoughts on “Episode 44: Beating the Bystander Effect

  1. You know what would be a really interesting study fellas is a bi-coastal study (East v.s. West Coast). As a Fire Captain here in Southern California, I’ve been amazed at the level of heroism here amongst average bystanders. I think there are some clear differences in sensibilities here in the West. Whereas, dating all the way back to the Kitty Genovese case in New York, that case has unfortunately become the albatross around the neck of many East Coasters that has characterized those on the other coast as cold and insensitive. Not to stereotype, but I think it’s interesting how polar opposite the two coasts are!

    • That’s interesting. I do remember a case in (I think) San Francisco where a large group of people stood on the edge of the bay and watched a man drown. It would be interesting to see if all of these factors affect people differently according to location.

      • Yeah! You’re talking about the case in Alameda County in which a mentally disturbed man walked out into the bay and law enforcement and fire officials wouldn’t attempt a rescue because they didn’t have a boat and could not effect the rescue without serious risk to first responders. Several bystanders attempted rescues but were discouraged by first responders since the patient was mentally disturbed at the risk that he would try and drown any potential rescuer. The bystanders DID actually try and get involved.

        This actually went to court and the court ruled on behalf of the first responders.

        • I hadn’t seen that some people had been told not to rescue. Very interesting addition to the story.

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