Bystander Effect Definition

Bystander Effect: The inaction of strangers faced with ambiguous emergencies.


Bystander effect is when the presence of other people makes it less likely that a person will offer help to another person who needs help.

People use others’ behavioral cues to determine their own reactions.  This is a form of informational influence.  When, in a group, people behave in a non-responsive manner, others are more likely to copy this behavior.  Therefore, if someone is in need of help, but no one is responding, a person is less likely to offer help based on the rest of the groups non-responsiveness.