Social Psychology Helping Behavior Social psychologists study the circumstances in which people offer help to others. The Bystander Effect Research shows that people are less likely to offer help to someone in distress if other people are also present. This is called the bystander effect . The probability that a person will receive help decreases as the number of people present increases. Diffusion of responsibility contributes to the bystander effect. A person does not feel as responsible for helping someone if several others are also present, since responsibility is distributed among all those present. Influences on Helping Researchers have proposed that bystanders who witness an emergency will help only if three conditions are met: • They notice the incident. • They interpret the incident as being an emergency situation. • They assume responsibility for helping. Researchers suggest that people are most likely to help others in certain circumstances: • They have just seen others offering help. • They are not in a hurry.
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