Applications of knowledge
An understanding of the bystander effect might be used to
increase prosocial behaviour.
Definition –Prosocial Behaviour – Behaviour which
benefits others and may or may not benefit the helper.
– A psychologist called Cialdini(1985) was involved in a car accident.
He watched as other cars passed by without stopping.
Cialdini said ‘I remember thinking, Oh No, it’s
happening just like the research says. They are all passing by! I considered it
fortunate as a Social Psychologist I knew exactly what to do. Pulling myself up
so I could be seen clearly, I pointed at the driver of one car; Call the Police
– to a second driverand third driver pointing directly each time; Pull over we
need help – These then acted immediately to help
Beaman et al
suggest that if people knew about the Bystander Effect they would be less likely
to be affected by it
is some evidence that prosocial television influences behaviour in a positive
direction. For example Forge and Phemister(1987) found that the behaviour of
preschool children was influenced by prosocial cartoons.
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