Day# 150: Bystander effect and how it affects UX

Day# 150: Bystander effect and how it affects UX

Oh the irony, we have all seen those posts with some horrible act being done with someone recording, then afterwards the comments flow in. “Why is that person so heartless?”, “Why didn’t they help” etc etc. The act of simply standing and watching an event occur is not just a characteristic of shy or weak people, it is a characteristic ingrained in our social construct as human beings. Yes you are going to say some story of some person who actually acted out, and yes that may have happened. However exceptions are just that exceptions, and when understanding human behavior countless studies are created and often recreated to understand the behavior and if it will reoccur in multiple different scenarios. The behavior to simply sit and watch an event comes from us as human beings thinking that someone else will do something, it is not always negative but refers in fact to the amount of people present. For example studies proved that the less people around the more likely individuals opted to help, check out the video below by one of my earlier favorite YouTube Channels Sci show on the bystander effect

Often the concept is misunderstood, people start thinking that when they are in a crowd of people nobody will ever help one another and for a deeper break down of the bystander effect as well as solutions for curing the action see the Ted Talk below.

From the above video you can now understand that bystander effect can be “cured” so to speak by directly asking the help of a specific individual. This then gives an individual responsibility to assist in the situation and the social pressure for that person to be called upon will generally result in them helping. Yes people may actually be scared in situations of crime etc where you have onlookers simply watching, however bystander effect can be seen very clearly in a lot of situations. As a paramedic I saw it daily, where people could have assisted but simple stood and watched situations. In relation to the user experience of online platforms, there are already many brands taking advantage of this. Emailers directly refer to you by name, calling you out to take action and commit, and making you feel as if the brand sees more than just a cutsomer to them. Promotions directed at you specifically will make you as the user feel signalled out and it is a way that brands can entice you. Looking forward to going through many more psychological findings that relate to user behaviour on the blog in the future.

Happy researching, bye for now!

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