Textual Research

  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Why are we afraid to go out of our way to help others?


Scholarly articles

1st source :

Fisher, P., Greitemeyer, T.”The Positive Bystander Effect: Passive Bystanders Increase Helping in Situations With High Expected Negative Consequences for the Helper“. Journal of Social Psychology. (2013). Vol. 153 Issue 1, p1-5. 5p. Retrieved from: https://ezproxy.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=83562579&site=eds-live&scope=site

If a person is in a situation where there is a high risk of potential danger to the victim, the bystander effect becomes positive. In other words, the presence of a group of people increases the chances of resolving the problem effectively.This article is very interesting because it actually contradicts the initial definition of the bystander effect. It shows that the effect can actually be positive when it comes to a very dangerous situation. However, it still holds true that the more there is people around, the less chances someone is likely to help but these are mostly in low risk of potential danger.

2nd source:   

Feidman, R. S. “Diffusion of responsibility in crime, punishment, and other adversityLaw and Human Behavior .(1978). Vol. 2, Issue 4, p. 313-322. Retrieved from: https://ezproxy.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsjsr&AN=edsjsr.1393835&site=eds-live&scope=site

If a person commits a crime alone, he/she is more likely to take responsibility than if the same crime was done but by a group of people.I learned that people are less likely to feel any guilt if there are any other bystanders around because they feel as if it is not their job to help. They think that other people would act therefore others are the ones to be held responsible. This reminds me that often in social experiment, people use as an excuse “I figured someone else would intervene”.

3rd source:

Pfattheicher, S., Keller, J. “The watching eyes phenomenon: The role of a sense of being seen and public self-awareness.” European Journal of Social Psychology. (2015).Vol. 45 Issue 5, p560-566. Retrieved from https://ezproxy.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=108997461&site=eds-live&scope=site 

This is about how humans are social creatures and how we can’t help but modify our behavior when others are around us. This taught me that people who have strong chronic public self-awareness are more likely to feel being watched by others. According to their studies, these people are more likely to have a prosocial behavior. Since they are sensitive in feeling as if they are being watched by others, they tend to do good things because they care of what others will think.

4th source: 

Nieta, K. D., Greitemeyer, T., Fisher, P., Frey, D. “Why mood affects help giving, but not moral courage: Comparing two types of prosocial behaviour” European Journal of Social Psychology. Vol. 40 Issue 7, p1136-1157. 22p. Retrieved from: https://ezproxy.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=55450392&site=eds-live&scope=site

This article is about how mood can be also an external source to prosocial behavior. I learned that whether you’re happy or even sad, it pushes to help others because you want to helping makes you stay happy or will make you feel better to cancel out the feeling of sadness. Moral courage how ever does not encourage others to help others because it usually creates a deterioration of mood instead of keeping them happy or making them feel better.

5th source: 

Tombourou, J.W. “Beneficial action within altruistic and prosocial behaviour. Review of General Psychology. Vol 20(3)p. 245-258. Retrieved from: https://ezproxy.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pdh&AN=2016-36828-001&site=eds-live&scope=site

This article talks about the effects of wanting to help others and the difference between altruistic and prosocial behaviour. (One involved helping to get a benefit out of it and the other doesn’t.) I discovered that it is revealed that the section of the brain that is associated to social attachment and bonding is active when it comes to making decisions on proving a charitable donation. This shows that when doing a good act, we actually do think of the social aspect related to it (how will we be perceive, how will it make other people feel, etc.)

Non-scholarly articles

6th source:

“Pluralistic ignorance” Wikipedia. (2017). Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluralistic_ignorance

This article explains that pluralistic ignorance is for instance when the majority of people disagree on something secretly, but pretend to agree because they feel as if that is how everyone else feels (when on the other hand, the don’t).

I find this useful for my article because it shows how some people will follow the norm because they feel as if no one else care. But in reality, they actually all secretly care and feel the same way.

7th source:

D.A., Lishner, E. L. Stocks. “Empathy-altruism hypothesis” Retrieved from http://ericboonesarchi.sourceforge.net/Archive/Empathy-Altruism%20Hypothesis.pdf

This article is about the theory that people who are more empathetic are more likely to help those in need compared than those who are less. I learned that the reason why is because those who feel more empathy feel more distress for others. Therefore, in order to calm their distress, they do a good act to reduce it. Also, I learned that there is a debate that altruism is actually made in act of selfishness. It is in fact in order to make ourselves feels better or to affect on how others perceive us. Therefore, it is in some way to benefit ourselves which contradicts the initial definition of altruism behavior.

8th source: 

D.Bornstein. “Where does moral courage come from?” New York Times. December 18,2014. Retrieved from https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/12/18/where-does-moral-courage-come-from/?_r=0

This article is about Kailash Satyarthi who was honored with the Nobel Peace Price for protecting the rights of children. What I learned about this article is that those who possess moral courage are those who care about humanity and feel a sense of humanity. The story of Satyarthi inspires that it always starts by something small in order to move into helping even more people.

9th source:

K.K. Reardon. “Courage as a Skill” Harvard Business Review, January 2007. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2007/01/courage-as-a-skill

This article explains the steps a person takes in order to make a courageous act. Even if this relates to business mostly, what I learn in this article is that courageous acts are “rarely impulsive”. In fact, people actually take the time to think and make a decision first. The steps here can also apply to having courage to step up for others, for instance weighing the risks and benefits, selecting the right time and developing a plan.


10th source:

R. Levine, A.Norenzayan, K. Philbrick. “Cross-Cultural Differences in Helping Strangers” JOURNAL OF CROSS-CULTURAL PSYCHOLOGY (2001) Retrieved from : http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~anlab/Manuscripts/Levine%20et%20al%20helping.pdf

This article speaks about the difference between individual and collective cultures. Their study/social experiment will show whether one culture is more likely to help strangers than the other. A statistic that I find really interesting: “The average percentage of help offered by pedestrians was as high as 93% in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and as low as 40% in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. New York City, in the United States, true to its stereotype as an unfriendly place…(554)”. This relates directly to the case of Kitty Genovese in NYC.


One comment

  1. commanderjeffgandell · March 28, 2017

    This looks very good! You have some broader ideas and concepts here which will help round out your article. Make sure that you’re really painting a picture of the bystander effect, and looking for reasons behind it. Good work.


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