Video Analysis Essay on Bystander Effect

Published: 2021-07-20
578 words
3 pages
5 min to read
Carnegie Mellon University
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The video Bystander Effect is about a little girl who was in the hands of a stranger. The little girl was screaming for help from the people passing near the scene because the stranger was attempting to kidnap the girl. It is clear from the clip that many people did not respond to the needs of the girl despite her loud scream.

I was shocked to see many people walking away without helping the girl who was screaming for help. I expected people to stop and listen to the girl and provide her according to her needs. This is not my dad some help screamed the girl. It is shocking that when many people are walking near someone in need, they think that someone else will help the victim. What surprised me most is the fact that women passing near the scene did not reacted to help the girl whom was going to be abducted.

It is evident from the video that an individual is more likely to respond to a situation when he/she is alone unlike when in a company of many people. Naturally, human beings shift blames and responsibility to the next persons when they meet someone in need. For example, people walking in-group are more likely to say maybe people coming after us will help. However, for a single person, it is easy to make a decision and take an action when he/she is confronted with an inhuman act. The onlookers on a scene will always observe the people around before they take an action in an event. Often, the bystanders make conclusions within their minds in an event that their personal help was not needed in the neighborhoods. The bystanders effect influences the behavior of individuals in-group. It is difficult for an individual to exhibit the real personal characteristics when in a company of many people.

Often, people walking in a group experience diffusion in a response. When the number of witnesses is small, the onlookers are more likely to intervene in a situation. The social influence is strong when an individual is making a decision in the presence of neighbors. It is a natural feeling for an individual to monitor the behavior of the people around before they act.

For decades, it is evident that people exhibit humanity in rural areas than in the urban setting. In the rural areas, people can take responsibility because they can easily know the people in need. For example, it is easy for neighbors to be accountable to others in a rural area than in an urban area. Besides, people are naturally fearful to intervene in an event but once others have acted, a big number is willing to follow the trend. One thing that holds people from acting on their own is the effect of diffusion in a response. In a situation of an emergency people, tend to look at the environment and judge the possible reaction from the neighbors before they commit to act on a responsibility. However, the actions of the neighbors trigger a positive response from the onlookers. On the video, it is apparent that the actions of the first onlooker activated the actions of the entire people in the environment (Keenermarc 2009). For this reason, it is easy for individuals to overcome fear once the people in the environment have responded.


Keener marc. (2009). Bystanders effect-People watch girl being abducted. Retrieved from the YouTube website:

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