Bystander Effect: The Good Samaritan
The term bystander effect is the finding that the greater the number of people present,
the less likely people are to help a person in distress. When an emergency situation occurs,
observers are more likely to take action if there are few or no other witnesses. Bystander effect
research was stimulated by the infamous case of a young woman named Kitty Genovese, who
while screamed for help was raped and murdered on the streets of Queens, NY. This is a scary
finding that happens repeatedly on a daily basis. Although people say that they would help in an
emergency situation, people will pass the responsibility on to others because of fear, selfishness,
and nonchalant thinking. I will give my thoughts and incorporate the story of The Good
Samaritan in the following paragraphs on the concept of the bystander effect.
The story of the Good Samaritan can be found in Luke 10:25-37. This story is about
Jesus teaching the concept of love. A lawyer asks Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life.
Jesus confirms that that by loving God and your neighbor you will inherit eternal life. The
lawyer wants to know who is considered his neighbor, and Jesus proceeds to tell the story of a
man who was robbed and was left for dead. The first person who walks past the injured man is a
Priest. The Priest crosses and walks on the other side of the road. The second man that passes is a
Levite who does the same as the Priest. The third man who passes is a Samaritan. The Samaritan
chooses to stop and assist the injured man by cleaning his wounds, and taking him to the nearest
inn to stay the night. The next morning the Samaritan gave money to the inn keeper and told him
to take care of the injured man. He also offered to pay more money when he returns if needed.
Jesus then confirms at the end of the story that your neighbor is anyone who is need of help....