1. The Topic Background: Diffusion of responsibility also known as the bystander effect is a perplexing phenomenon. Diffusion of responsibility occurs when a person is in need of help and the bystander doesn’t take action when others are present. This phenomenon occurs more often when there are more people present, and when the responsibility isn’t assigned to a particular person. Experiments have proven that it rarely occurs when a person is by themselves. In most cases the larger the group, the less likely it is for someone to help. The bystanders are all waiting for someone else to help. It is a very interesting concept because the brain is unconsciously making this decision for you. If people are asked if they would lend assistance in certain situations they usually say yes they would. However when the situation occurs they fail to act. The group failing to act goes against the norm of human being behavior.
2. My Working Thesis: Diffusion of Responsibility is a strange phenomenon that occurs in situations where people are in need of assistance. The bystander usually fails to react appropriately and does not take action to help the person in need. The bystander’s brain is going through steps before having a final reaction to the situation. They notice the problem and then define it as a person in need of help. However they unconsciously stop at that point. The brain is telling them to stop and they enter into a strange state where they are confused. The more people that are around the more likely it is for the phenomenon to occur.
3. Counterintuitive Note: This theory goes against the social norm. People would think that if a person needs assistance and if you were physically able to do so you would help. This is not the case according to the Diffusion of Responsibility theory. People’s actions go against what people are typically led to believe.
Topics for Smaller Papers: Some smaller topics would be: “People’s reactions to a person in need”, “The 5 Step decision making process” , “Risk Taking Behavior”. This is a very broad topic and there are many smaller topics that can be discussed thoroughly. This topic is about the brain and how it reacts you can look into so many theories and ideas as to why Diffusion of Responsibility occurs.
5. Current State of my Research Paper: I have read many interesting articles and am really starting to understand the concept of Diffusion of Responsibly. There are tons of sources and I am beginning to narrow down some of them. My knowledge on this subject has come a long way since i first decided to research this topic. I intend to find more actual cases and accounts of this phenomenon. I know there are some criminal cases and studies done on this that will be very interesting. I am really happy with my progression thus far.