Why People Stand By

A Comprehensive Study About the Bystander Effect


  • Nithya Ganti BASIS Independent Silicon Valley
  • Sori Baek Horizon Academics




bystander effect, upstander, physical harm, gender norms, groupthink, sticking out, social pressure, diffusion of responsibility, pluralistic ignorance, blocking


Bystander effect is the phenomenon that describes how, when more people are around, each individual is less likely to intervene. While the bystander effect is an integral part of studying social behaviors and group thinking, the many caveats it presents itself with must be considered. Every situation differs based on location, people, and circumstance, so the idea of the bystander effect is not valid in every scenario, as evidenced by the various counter-examples and contradictory findings researchers have discovered. However, the bystander effect is still very important to study because understanding what encourages/prevents people from helping is critical to decrease the effect of the bystander effect to promote helping behavior. In this paper, we discuss the various factors that affect the prevalence of the bystander effect: perceived physical and social harm to the helper, responsibility diffusion, and perceived helpfulness.


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Author Biography

Sori Baek, Horizon Academics

Sori Baek is a Ph.D. candidate in the Psychology & Neuroscience Joint Degree Program at Princeton University, and her research is funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She is a developmental cognitive neuroscientist, which means that she is mainly interested in how babies and kids think and use their brains. She uses neuroimaging methods and behavioral studies to conduct research on how babies and kids use their brains to perceive things in the world, make and process predictions, learn new things, and remember past events! Prior to her PhD work, she was a Lab Manager and Research Coordinator at the Laboratory of Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience at Stanford University. Her personal website with more information her research can be found here: https://www.soribaek.com

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How to Cite

Ganti, N., & Baek, S. (2021). Why People Stand By: A Comprehensive Study About the Bystander Effect. Journal of Student Research, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.47611/jsrhs.v10i1.1390



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