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LongInTheTooth comments on Bystander Apathy - Less Wrong

25 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 13 April 2009 01:26AM

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Comment author: LongInTheTooth 13 April 2009 01:57:18PM 5 points [-]

It is also explicit instruction for first aiders; "You! Call 911 and tell them I need an ambulance at the corner of x and y! Tell them I'm performing CPR on an unconscious non-breathing victim! Ask them for an ETA and tell me what they said!"

Comment author: MichaelHoward 13 April 2009 07:30:34PM *  13 points [-]

The psychologist Eliezer cited, Cialdini, was involved in a car accident. Both he and the other driver were clearly hurt. He watched as other cars passed by without stopping.

"I remember thinking, Oh No, it’s happening just like the research says. They are all passing by! I considered it fortunate as a Social Psychologist I knew exactly what to do. Pulling myself up so I could be seen clearly, I pointed at the driver of one car; Call the Police – to a second driver and third driver pointing directly each time; Pull over we need help – The responses of these people were instantaneous..."

[Edit - readers seem interested so adding more. It's from Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion]

"Not only was this help rapid and solicitous, it was infectious. After drivers entering the intersection from the other direction saw cars stopping for me, they stopped and began tending to the other victim. The principle of social proof was working for us now. The trick had been to get the ball rolling in the direction of aid. Once that was accomplished, I was able to relax and let the bystanders' genuine concern and social proof's natural momentum do the rest."