Human Behavior in the Society

Published: 2017-11-08 07:14:20
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Bystander effect definition on example of Kitty Genovese

Many are the cases that people stand to look at an individual who is in much need of help in the society. Research has stated that the more bystanders are present, the less likely that one of them will act to help. Example, in the case of the murder of Kitty Genovese, there is recorded to have been 38 witnesses who listened to a woman get assaulted for an extended period (R, 2002). What causes the ‘Bystander Effect?’ The Bystander effect is defined as the social situation phenomena where individuals are more likely to overlook a person in need as a result of social pressure. Over the years scholars have formulated a hypothesis in an attempt to understand the Bystander effect; its causes and motivating factors. Research has argued that individuals caught up in the bystander effect may be experiencing social inhibition. Social Inhibition is a social thesis that emphasizes on the individual’s disregard for negative attention from others (Banyard Victoria L, 2011). A person can withdraw from helping another person in a public place since they do not want to draw negative attention from the others.

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Pluralistic ignorance is a thesis that focuses on the behavior that an individual will adapt from others in a given situation. In a case where a person is kidnapped publicly, a person may wait to see whether other people will help (Baumeister, 2008). The resulting situation is each and every individual waiting for the action of the other to act. Pluralistic ignorance is closely related to diffusion of responsibility hypothesis that argues that the burden of helping is shared to others, thus resulting in the bystander effect from the group level of the society.

Human behavior in the social environment

Human behavior is highly influenced by different factors making up the society, from the individual’s experience to culture to societal morals and values; human behavior is a dependent variable in the equation of the community. Research has stated that human behavior is different from the individual and the group level, regardless of the social dilemma on whether the person makes the society or vice versa, it would be accurate to argue that human behavior is influenced and motivated by different factors that make up the community.

The reason contributing to why, how and when an individual will help another person has been analyzed to rely on the person’s personality, the situation as well as past experiences. An individual’s personality being made of the emotions and level of altruism is seconded by the situation and the nature of values from past experiences in determining prosocial behavior. Any individual may choose whether or not to indulge in prosocial behavior, a study of the motivating factors that result in this form of expression allow us to understand the drive behind human behavior in different circumstances completely. Writing and research over extended periods of time allow social psychologists to achieve a higher understanding of prosocial behavior and contributes to the overall knowledge of human behavior in the society.

Fundamental values in humans life

Values are fundamental in ensuring one attains better clarity and sharp focus in life. Values in many ways serve as the filter or sift through which one makes the choices that define his or her personality. In many instances, life can be much easier and enjoyable when one acknowledges his or her personal values. One must strive to honor these values and attempt to live by them regardless the circumstances faced. There are three important values that people should live and acknowledge in order to cherish a happy and delightful life

A significant value that people should live by is kindness. It entails offering care to others or being generous toward other parties. When allowed to flourish, kindness can sustain humanity. It provides the template on which we all ought to engage on. Kindness can be material or immaterial. At times an individual may offer to give out or share with others material things. For instance, one can offer to give away clothes to the destitute in the society out of his own volition. Immaterially, an individual may offer his time or effort to another individual that needs it. A good example is one visiting the sick or the elderly. By providing time and company to the frail in the society as an act is a great value that brings forth personal fulfillment. Being unkind to others may bring forth feelings of guilt or personal hatred. It also breeds animosity which may make others avoid one.

Similarly, equality suffices as another value that is fundamental in the day-to-day engagements with others. Equality is essential for one to have a gratified life. Embracing equality enables one to integrate and live with others harmoniously. It also awakens one to the ills of the society which are brought about by discrimination and inequality. Equality further allows individuals to learn from others that are of different class, race or communities. This is essential in bringing forth the positivity in diversity. However, the opposite is true. People who do not value inequality in most instances do not respect the sanctity of life. They lose the essence of being human and compassionate. Inequality further brings about disunity and segregation.

Why is empathy important for leading happy life

Ultimately, having empathy is vital for one to lead a happy life. Empathy allows one to put him or herself in the shoes of another. By trying to understand challenges or circumstances felt by others, we learn how to treat each other with respect and understanding. It also allows conflicts to be resolved amicably thus retaining old relationships and ties. When one becomes empathetic he learns to appreciate others from an objective perspective. He or she becomes less judgmental of others. However, lacking empathy one can easily become condemnatory and have shallow relationships with others.

In conclusion, values are critical to anybody that seeks to live a fulfilling life. Being at peace with onets self and his surroundings is the best balance that one can aspire to attain. It does not only have spiritual benefits but also health benefits. People with values tend to be happy and lead stress-free lives. However, individuals with no values lead shallow lives that are based on weak interpersonal relationships. By being cruel, mean, and judgmental, one continues to break down from the core. The internal struggles that such an individual affect his or her overall well-being.

Perspectives Of Empathy

Empathy is an emotional and mental state in which people can feel the pain of other people who are going through torment and difficult situation. People argue on the role of empathy regarding creating goodness in people and its ability to make people biased and lead to rush decisions without evaluating the situation and circumstance faced by people. Empathy applies in situations that people have to identify with the feelings of other people. In online dating, empathy is the leading factor in identifying with an individual without having to meet them. When people explain their situation in the case of an abusive relationship or a case in which a woman lover elopes with another man with more money attracts empathy and causes the other party to be concerned which in the end results in a relationship. However, empathy is questionable regarding causing irrational decisions in that it is possible one party can lie regarding their situation with the aim of attracting empathy from the other party.

Feeling empathy for other people according to Paul Bloom is a bad idea. Paul Bloom has identified empathy with the ability to create discord amongst people in ethnicity, racial and different opinion grounds. In politics, many leaders have used empathy as an avenue to show their sincerity and ability to identify with the suffering of their subjects. In online dating, people use traumatizing past experiences to create empathy for others which leads to affectionate distance relationships. Such decision according to Paul Bloom are irrational and can lead to illicit and one-sided relationship that can be based on utter lies from one partner in the relationship.

Setting aside empathy and using logical thinking is an important avenue of regaining control in decision making and making decisions that can have a positive impact in one’s life. There are many dangers in online dating in that there is little information regarding the other partner other than the information given by the individual himself. This situation increases the chance of being lied to and also endangering one`s life. Some people are unpredictable, and they can play nice through their ability to empathize or attract empathy only for their own good such as financial and sexual benefits. In this case, empathy causes an individual to feel broken when such a relationship does not work out which can reduce the ability of an individual to feel empathy in necessary situations in the future.

Importance Of Empathy

Roman Krznaric has distanced himself from the argument by Bloom that empathy leads to irrational decisions and can lead to dangerous situations due to lack of reason and moral guidance. In this case, Roman argues that empathy is a key motivator for individuals to help others in situations, unlike Bloom who argues that empathy reduces moral judgment and rational decision-making. In making personal decisions such as online dating, empathy is a major tool that can be used to ensure that both parties develop the affinity for each other. Empathy does not overwhelm individual’s ability to think critically but motivates people to identify with other people suffering.

Gwen Dewar, on the other hand, argues that empathy can be misinterpreted or ignored on different occasions due to lack of moral reasoning despite being aware of other people suffering. Some people can be aware and competent in reasoning and moral permissibility and ignore all the facts. In this case, people tend to be egocentric which can be damaging regarding online dating. Egocentric individuals according to Dewar only identify with their personal justification of their actions. Gwen Dewar agrees with Bloom that in such an occasion it is due to lack of moral compassion.

In conclusion, empathy is an important tool in motivating people to help others and also feel their pain, but also, it can lead to the suffering of people with different opinion or experience due to the bias caused by empathy. It can be concluded that empathy should be accompanied by moral reasoning and compassion to be able to feel the pain and situation through which individuals are going through. In this case, online dating should be based on mutual compassion and moral reasoning otherwise it can result to more heartbreaks due to lack of understanding and compassion in which individuals satisfy their own intrinsic needs.


Banyard Victoria L, M. M. (2011). Variation in Bystsnder Behavior related to Sexual and Intimate Patner Violence Prevention. Oxford: Oxford Publishes.

Baumeister. R. F, B. B. (2008). Social Psychology and Human Nature. Belmont: Wadsworth.

Mario Mikulincer, P. R. (2010). Prosocial Motives, Emotions and Behavior. New York: American Psychological Association.

Peter, F. (2013). The Bystander Effect. Psychological Bulletin , 517-37.

R, B. (2002). The Genetics and Biology of True Love: Prosocial Biological Effecst and the left Hemisphere. Psychological Review , 739-44.

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Human Behavior in the Society. (2017, Nov 08). Retrieved from


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