“There are, in fact, many reasons why bystanders in groups fail to act in emergency situations, but social psychologists have focused most of their attention on two major factors. According to a basic principle of social influence, bystanders monitor the reactions of other people in an emergency situation to see if others think that it is necessary to intervene. Each person uses others’ behavior as clues to reality. Since everyone is doing exactly the same thing (nothing), they all conclude from the inaction of others that help is not needed. This is an example of pluralistic ignorance or social proof. The other major obstacle to intervention is known as diffusion of responsibility. This occurs when observers all assume that someone else is going to intervene and so each individual feels less responsible and refrains from doing anything.”
“The Charter of human rights and freedoms of Quebec, makes it mandatory to “come to the aid of anyone whose life is in peril, either personally or calling for aid, unless it involves danger to himself or a third person, or he has another valid reason”. It is therefore a legal obligation to assist people in Quebec.”
Are not homelessness, addiction, poverty and mental illness emergency situations in our society?