Bystander Apathy is a social psychological theory that has remained unchallenged for over 50 years. So briefly it says that we are less likely to intervene in a crime or assault in a public space the more people are present as witnesses.
Science trying to reduce complexity to a simple statement? As ever reality is more tricky. In modern bystander research – personalities and the default reaction to trauma play a significant role. Humans are more reflexive and unconscious. In other words they experience Fight, Flight or Freeze.
Personal. Individual. Historical!
So bystanders with more empathy (nurtured in personal histories) were more liable to intervene than bystanders with low empathy.
What is astounding is that this theory has remained unchallenged until recently. Is research not capable of studying complex human behaviour? Does personal history not play a part in trying to evaulate human behaviour? Are we still trying to squeeze human behaviour into simple predictable universal reactions? How has research ignored unique individual human behaviour for so long? Resistance? Resistance to what? Complexity v. Simplicity?
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2019
All rights reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique