Yesterday I was reading an interesting fact about what is called “bystander intervention.” Certain experiments were conducted by social psychologists John Darley and Bibb Latane in which they set up situations that seemed like emergencies, e.g. someone fainting in the subway etc.
They observed something quite interesting. The likelihood of someone offering help to the “victim” depended on the presence of others in the particular context. If people thought they were the only ones witnessing the incident, they usually extended their help. If there was another person around, they were less likely to help, and if there were lots of people around it was unlikely they would offer any help at all.
It really got me thinking. Does a collective perception make us lose our sense of individual responsibility towards one another, or does it enhance it? Do we have to have a sense of the individual to awaken a sense of individual responsibility? Can we take collective responsibility for something without a sense of individuality? Still pondering on all this.
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