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Helping to overcome intervention inertia in Bystander’s dilemmas : behavioral disinhibition can improve the greater good


Bos, Kees van den; Müller, Patrick A.; Bussel, Anke A. L. van


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Abstract Conventional wisdom holds that behavioral disinhibition has negative effects on what humans do. Behavioral disinhibition may indeed frequently have negative effects, but in the present paper we reveal some positive consequences as well: The disinhibition hypothesis proposed here states that people may feel inhibited to intervene in situations in which non-intervening bystanders are present and that, therefore, behavioral disinhibition may help to overcome the bystander effect. Findings presented here provide evidence supporting this prediction both inside and outside the psychology laboratory: In both real-life and controlled bystander situations, people were more likely and faster to provide help when (unrelated to the bystander situations) they had (vs. had not) been reminded about having acted with no inhibitions. These findings suggest that, in contrast with what various theories and worldviews dictate, behavioral disinhibition may have positive effects on helping behavior and hence can be conducive for the greater good.
Klassifikation Sozialpsychologie
Freie Schlagwörter bystander effect; behavioral disinhibition; behavioral interventions; greater good
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2009
Seitenangabe S. 873-878
Zeitschriftentitel Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45 (2009) 4
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2009.03.014
Status Postprint; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)