To Help or Not to Help: Facilitating Pro-Social Bystander Behavior

Wednesday May 02   08:45 AM to 09:45 AM (1 hour)
Enoch Ballroom
Every day we are bystanders to situations in which people need assistance. From the person outside the store asking us for change to our colleague who is being bullied in the

office to the motorist we drive past stranded on the road, there are countless moments in our daily lives in which we witness people in circumstances that have the potential to  cause them harm. How do we decide who to help and why? 

This presentation will provide an overview of social-psychological research and theories on bystander behavior. We will explore specific individual, situational, and social factors that facilitate positive action to provide assistance to others as well as common factors which inhibit action. We will examine the ways in which individuals elicit assistance, the possible barriers to soliciting help when needed, and the most common types of help individuals give and/or receive. Drawing on Latane and Darley’s bystander decision model, this session will conclude by highlighting the five pivotal steps that individuals must undertake to provide effective intervention to assist others in need.  

University of Windsor
Associate Professor of Social Work and Women’s Studies

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