Bystander Effects Practical 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.


Assigning Responsibility – 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


Prosocial Television-


 There 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.


click HERE to return to homepage

  link to

link to