The bystander effect, which was first identified in the late 1960s, describes a fascinating quirk of human behavior: Our level of altruistic behavior depends, in large part, to the circumstances we find ourselves in.
As studies has shown, we’re relatively likely to help someone in trouble if we’re the only source of available assistance. But if we’re one of a number of possible saviors, we’re more likely to hold back and see if anyone else steps forward.
Does this inconsistency reflect an innate impulse, or learned behavior? Newly published research suggests that if it’s the latter, we pick it up very early in life.
Read the whole story: Pacific Standard