Friday, June 6, 2008

Can anybody watch the news without crying???

Did anybody else see this case? A 78 year old man was struck by a car while crossing the street. He laid there in the street, conscious and bleeding, while ten cars passed and a crowd of pedestrians gawked. While 4 people did call 911, no one approached him to offer help. I'm sure you've heard of the bystander effect, and this case isn't really that surprising, but it's still sad. The effect was first described to explain the murder of Kitty Genovese, who was raped and murdered in an alleyway by her apartment with 38 witnesses. None of the witnesses intervened or even called police. In a psychological experiment,

Latané and Darley sat a series of college students in a cubicle amongst a number of other cubicles in which there were tapes of other students playing (the student thought they were real people). One of the voices cries for help and makes sounds of severe choking. When the student thought they were the only person there, 85% rushed to help. When they thought there was one other person, this dropped to 65%. And when they thought there were four other people, this dropped again to 31%.

It seems that "diffusion of responsibility" occurs, where everyone assumes someone else will do something. Also, you sort of look around to see how everyone else responds. If no one else is freaking out or doing anything, you probably won't either. But of course they're all doing the same thing.

So apparently, if you get hit by a car, or mugged, or worse, you're better off if only one person sees it happen. If you have the misfortune of being in a crowded area, single out one person to help. "You! Call an ambulance!" Then they feel some personal responsibility. Or if you are a witness who can manage to act, other people are more likely to follow your lead and pitch in as well. Andy and Gabrielle, your comments are eagerly anticipated.

What else is on the news this morning?

Let's see. So far I've seen dead bodies floating and children begging in Burma. What do you think; should we just roll some tanks in there and deliver aid whether the junta likes it or not? We've done that before. Probably not likely, though, since Western nations don't have a financial stake in the region. But isn't that the ostensible reason we're in Iraq? Delivery from an oppressive regime? I'm not a political junkie, or even terribly knowledgeable about foreign policy. I'm just venting here.

What else? Oh, the nine year old boy who dropped dead on the baseball field. His mom is campaigning for defibrillators on little league fields. Great idea. I support it fully. They're not hard to use at all. Nothing like on TV. (Sorry to disappoint.) Well, the ones in the hospital are like that. But not the little ones for public areas.

In Hyde family news:
Betty had been showing some interest in the potty, so I thought I'd give her a chance in pullups and see what happened. So now, she takes off her pullup, runs to the potty, and poops on the floor next to the potty. She's done this everyday since Monday. (I have pictures; you can thank me now for not putting them up.)

:::sigh:::

Don't worry, I'll keep you posted. Can you stand the anticipation?

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1 comment:

Gabriele said...

Oh my goodness...I can't believe that!

The bystander effect certainly is accurate, but you really hope that when something happens, people will not prove the theory correct. Crazy people, come on now, an old man in the road, run over, and no one helps...I'm amazed!

I guess the theory, although shown in many cases and test, is proved to be true once again...sad, sad!!!