People sometimes help people in need, but sometimes they don’t . The bystander effect is a social phenomenon that occurs when people do not help those in need due to the presence of other people. In many cases, people feel that because there are other people around, surely someone else will come into action and you do not need to do anything.

For good social cohesion it is important that people overcome the bystander effect once they understand what they are about. In this way, when someone needs our help, they will have it and in the event that we are the ones in need, others lose their proper reaction.

How the bystander effect can be overcome

The bystander effect has a negative effect on prosocial behavior and altruism, but there are different factors that can help people overcome this acting bias and increase the likelihood of engaging in helping behaviors from now on. Do not miss the following tips to get it if you tend to get “blocked” in moments of helping others.

Do something nice

Sometimes just seeing other people doing something nice or helpful makes us more willing to help others. When we observe other people involved in prosocial behaviors, such as donating blood, we are more likely to do the same … For example, imagine being in a supermarket and you see how many people are donating food to an association for people in need … If you watch others do it, you are more likely to do it too.

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One of the key reasons people often fail to act when help is needed is that they don’t realize what is happening until it is too late. Ambiguous situations can also make it difficult to determine if help is really needed. 

In a famous experiment, participants were less likely to respond when smoke began to fill a room when other people in the room did not respond either. Since no one else was taking action, people assumed it must not be an emergency. Rather than relying solely on the responses of those around you, staying alert and in tune with the situation can help you decide how to react more appropriately.

Be better informed

When faced with an emergency situation, knowing what to do will increase the chances that you will take the correct action. Although it is true that you cannot be prepared for everything that may happen to you, you can, for example, take first aid classes and thus feel more competent in the event of possible emergencies .

Pay attention to your feeling of guilt

Guilt feelings can stimulate helpful behaviors . Survivor syndrome, for example, is a reality. In the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US, some survivors felt the need to help others in subsequent tragic events .

Personal relationship

We are more likely to help people we know than people we don’t know. In an emergency situation, people with problems can help cultivate a more personalized response even with strangers.

Simple behaviors like making eye contact and engaging in small conversations can help others to help you. If you need help, it is better to choose one person than many: make eye contact and ask for help directly rather than in a general way.

The others deserve your help

People are also more likely to help others if they believe that the person really deserves it. This could explain why some people are more willing to give money to the homeless, while others are not. Those who believe that homeless people are in their situation due to laziness or unwillingness to work are less likely to give money, while those who believe that homeless people really deserve help are more likely to provide assistance.

Also remember … if you feel good, you will do good. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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