Diffusion Of Responsibility
Diffusion of Responsibility explains why we are less likely to take action or help someone in need when we are in a group compared to when we are alone. The more people around to observe an emergency, the less obligation each person feels to act because they think someone else will do it first. This principle of social psychology has been supported by numerous lab studies. In a classic experiment by Darley and Latané (1968), participants saw someone having a (fake) seizure. When participants believed they were the only witness to the incident, 81% went to get help; when participants thought there were four other witnesses, only 31% went for help.