The article “Young Children Show the Bystander Effect in Helping Situations” by Plötner et al. has discussed the patterns of children’s behavior in situations when the surrounding people need help. The researchers have come up to the conclusion that if a bystander, able to provide help instead of the child, is present, the child remains inactive if asked for help.
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The study hypothesized that children are naturally helpful but when they appear in a situation when a bystander capable of providing help is nearby, they will tend to avoid assisting the needy. The participants of the study were sixty children of 5 years old. The variables examined in the study were the bystander effect and diffusion of responsibility.
This study has found that in the event of bystanders availability, children demonstrate “bystander effect, and it is due not to social referencing or shyness to act in front of others but, rather, to a sense of a diffusion of responsibility” (Plötner et al. 499). This conclusion is of interest in connection with the studies of human behavior when help is needed. Children are known for their extremely helpful nature but when they are aware of the presence of another person who can potentially help, they remain inactive. This phenomenon proves the human tendency of diffusion of responsibility.
The study results can be well generalized to the general populations since the research sample is chosen by the best standards of such procedures handling. One of the study limitations is that since the researchers were interested in observing the general behavior patterns in the broad category of children, they have only invited the participants of 5 years old; therefore, in a follow-up study, I would increase the variance of children’s age.
Plötner, Maria, Harriet Over, Malinda Carpenter, and Michael Tomasello. “Young Children Show the Bystander Effect in Helping Situations.” Psychological Science (2015): 499-506. Print.