Bystander reactions to a violent theft: Crime in Jerusalem

Shalom H. Schwartz*, Avi Gottlieb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Exposed 72 male Israeli undergraduates to a violent crime in the course of a bogus discussion. Their awareness of other bystanders' lack of reaction to the emergency (social influence) and others' awareness of their actions (evaluation apprehension) were crossed in a 2-2 factorial design. An "alone" condition in which the S was the only bystander controlled for the effects of others' mere presence (diffusion of responsibility). Helping was reduced by diffusion of responsibility and slowed by negative social influence but was increased by evaluation apprehension. Differences traceable to social influence appeared prior to those from the other processes. Implications of these findings for the measurement of helping and the interpretation of bystander decision making are discussed. (24 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1188-1199
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1976


  • bystander reactions to violent crime, social influences &
  • evaluation apprehension in helping, male college students, Israel


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