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I believe this post highlights many of the problems with diffusion of responsibility. When I was trained in BLS (Basic Life Support), I was taught how important it was to tell a specific person to call 911. I learned that, if there was a crowd and I don't give someone that job, everyone might think someone else had already called.
Mr. Tale- Yax was stabbed to death recently in New York City. A the surveillance camera videotaped his being stabbed and numerous pedestrians walking by. Many reporters concluded that these passers-by did not care.
I discuss the problem with bystander intervention in my recent blog - (Psychology Today – The Measure of Madness – “Did New Yorkers Ignore A Dying Man?”). I believe that many of the passers-by did not realize that Mr. Tale-Yax needed help. While some may have been influenced by diffusion of responsibility, others may have misinterpreted the situation.
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