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Why People Dont Help in a Crisis

Too Many Witnesses , Not Enough Action In their essay , “Why People Don ‘t Help in a Crisis ‘ John Darley and Bibb Latane seek to explain the disturbing phenomenon of bystander inaction in the face of emergencies . Complex , stressful decisions are thrust upon witnesses to an emergency , and “people sometimes choose not to get involved – and then later regret this decision ‘ Every individual is different , and reticence toward action in an emergency is an important , difficult decision , but many factors come into play as a witness decides whether to render assistance . According to the article ,the number of witnesses plays a significant role in determining whether individuals will step up and aid an emergency victim . This “diffusion of responsibility ‘ theory argues that the more witnesses , the less likely individuals within that group of bystanders will respond with aid . The theory also argues that even if bystanders decide not to help ,their choice is neither easy nor stress-free . Whether their choice is easy or difficult , bystanders to an emergency or tragedy deserve blame and perhaps even punishment if they choose not to help the victim and avert the tragedy . The authors cite several emergency situations and argue that “the megalopolis in which we live makes closeness difficult and leads to the alienation of the individual from the group ‘ Psychological withdrawal , apathy and indifference of the witnesses to an emergency are then cited as factors underlying inaction . But , whether strangers are alienated or withdrawn from one another , they should feel a moral obligation…

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