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  1. Diffusion of Responsibility    



    Brenda was completing a 1-year internship in Baltimore. Luckily, she found an apartment not far from school. To get some exercise, acquaint herself with her new surroundings, and listen to her music, she walked to and from school every day. The 2-mile route took her past Johns Hopkins University, an extremely busy campus teeming with students and passersby. On her way home one day, music blasting in her ears, Brenda suddenly found herself head down in a muddy ravine right in front of the university’s main quad. Someone had come up from behind and pushed her…hard. She was not hurt, but at that moment, she was head down, feet sticking up in the air, in full view of everyone on the Hopkins’ campus. Attempting to right herself, she wondered why none of the many onlookers offered their assistance.
    To Prepare
    • Review the Learning Resources for this week and examine how social psychology theory and research explain the diffusion of responsibility.
    • Consider the reasons why none of the onlookers stopped to help Brenda.

    Post an explanation about why none of the onlookers offered their assistance. Your explanation must be informed by social psychology theory and research.


Subject Psychology Pages 2 Style APA


Diffusion of Responsibility

Why none of the onlookers offered their assistance

Human nature dictates that a person should immediately take the responsibility to help if the person notices a situation that requires his or her assistance. This, however, is not always the case as seen in the scenario where none of the onlookers was willing to help Brenda to get up after she was pushed by someone and fall in a muddy ravine near the university’s main entrance. The onlookers’ unwillingness to offer assistance to Brenda can be explained from the perspective of diffusion of responsibility, which is one of the key components of the bystander effect theory. 0 Diffusion of responsibility, according to Beyer et al. (2017). is a psychological phenomenon in which individuals are less likely to respond to a situation or take action when there are many people present. In other words, the personal responsibility that an onlooker feels or develops tends to decrease as the number of onlookers increases. In light of this theory, it can be argued that none of the passerby students and other bystanders at the university’s entrance helped Brenda because the presence of many people meant that individual people did not feel pressured to act and offer assistance that she needed (Kendra, 2020). Put simply, individual people felt that it was the responsibility of someone else in the group to offer assistance.






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