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Why People Don’t Help in a Crisis

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When an emergency occurs people almost have the same reaction. And to intervene is not one of them. People often pretend like nothing is happening. They figure it isn?t any of their business. In an article titled ?Why People Don?t Help in a Crisis? by John Darley and Bibb Latene they explain why people don?t involve themselves when emergencies occur. They gave three reasons why people why people react the way they do. As Americans we have been taught to respect the privacy of others. We fear that we might look like fools if we do help. If we do decide to help we well make little to no difference. Darley and Bibb also give examples on how to help the situation. The first thing is to notice there is a problem and see that this situation is in fact an emergency. They also explain to decide if they have a personal responsibility to be involved. Darley and Bibb try to explain why bystanders are uncaring and unconcerned when it comes to helping others in emergencies.

One of the reasons that people keep to themselves in an emergency is because they don?t want to disrespect the privacy of others. In society we expect privacy and we respect the privacy of others. In public we are so used to minding our own business and in doing so we tend to day dream. When we are in our own little world we close our attention to others becoming incapable and unwilling to notice an emergency. With their unacknowlegement one is not willing to step up and stop them. In the novel Imagining Argentina by Thornton Lawrence, the people of Argentina start to disappear and no one does anything about it. The people know it?s the government is to blame for the disappearances but no one will step up and stop them. Since no one got involved when the disappearances started happening the government got to powerful, the people became to weak to address the problem. By not addressing the problem they are just letting the situation get worse.

The second problem that bystanders fear is looking like fools if they decide to help, when in fact it?s not an emergency at all. Some situations may look like emergencies when in fact they?re not. Sometimes it?s hard to tell if the situation is a real emergency or not. For example, when hearing screams thinking someone is in danger, turns out to be kids just playing one feels foolish. Avoiding looking like a fool in front of people avoid it all together and mind their own business. Another example is a television show ?Jackass? on MTV the people on the show go around tricking others into thinking that they are hurt. They record the people?s reactions, some just stare and go on with their business, and others fall for the prank and try to help. After the stunt, the show airs it and viewers get a good laugh out of it. This fear is greatest crowds because nobody wants to over react when in fact there is no reason to get involved. When people get over this fear and see a situation as a real emergency they can respond.

If they decide that they do have a personal responsibility then they decided to help. When it comes to where there is a crowd one feels they have no responsibility. For example, when a person trips and falls and all their belongings go flying everywhere people acknowledge the fallen person. But still no one bothers to help, because they think someone else will help. Now if that same person was to fall in an empty hallway and some one was passing by most likely that person would stop to help that person. Darley and Latena define the motivation of why people are indiscreet and unsympathetic of other people?s welfare in emergencies. People choose to turn the other way and don?t seem to want to look like they fell for the joke and with most cases they feel that it is not there responsibility to help. If every one took a chance on the suggestions Darley and Latena give on what to do in case of an emergency. The people in Argentina would have never disappeared innocent would have did such a horrific death.

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