Why are people like this these days

mgb_phys

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I don't think it is a lack of empathy so much as (possibly unfounded) fear.

1, Is this person really hurt or are they drunk/drugged/crazy
2, Are they a mugger, is this a trick
3, Are they bleeding - will I catch something
4, Will I be sued if I help them (especially if you are a medical profesional or in the USA)
5, Will I be arrested/suspected of hurting them, especially if I'm the wrong skin colour or they come round confused and point at me as the person that attacked them.
6, If it's a child and I am a man alone I don't want to be seen anywhere near them.

If you lived in London/New York and move to a small town in Canada, it takes a while for you not to automatically brush past anyone on the street who tries to talk to you!
 
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I don't think it is a lack of empathy so much as (possibly unfounded) fear.

1, Is this person really hurt or are they drunk/drugged/crazy
2, Are they a mugger, is this a trick
3, Are they bleeding - will I catch something
4, Will I be sued if I help them (especially if you are a medical profesional or in the USA)
5, Will I be arrested/suspected of hurting them, especially if I'm the wrong skin colour or they come round confused and point at me as the person that attacked them.
6, If it's a child and I am a man alone I don't want to be seen anywhere near them.

If you lived in London/New York and move to a small town in Canada, it takes a while for you not to automatically brush past anyone on the street who tries to talk to you!
that may be a big part of it--


I think I see the world/some people a whole lot differently than maybe some others.

I just got off the phone with four different people, and all of them seemed to talk in a totally selfish and self-centered way. Maybe that's just people in general anymore, or it's just becoming more apparent to me. Everything that we talked about HAD to be about them, and relate to them. If a new topic came up, they would easily find a quick way to relate in back to them. I'd say something about how beautiful the weather was, and their first word out of their mouth was "I"--"I want...", "I have..", I, I, I....----and all of them seemed that way---..... With one of them, I had to say 'I had to go...' just so I wouldn't get frustrated talking to her.

After I got off the phone, that Beatles song 'I, me, my' or whatever its name came to mind, and that part of it--" I, me, me, mine" repeating over and over again. One of them actually said, "does that have anything to do with me?" And two of them got really weird and defensive to the point of almost yelling at me when the subject didn't have anything to do with them, but somehow in their own mind they related it back to them.

I think part of the reason some people don't help is that they were never taught, or have to learn, how to deal with others in a non-self-centered way. ---spoiled children turning into spoiled adults.
 

BobG

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I'm surprised they didn't help you. What a bunch of self-absorbed butt heads! :frown:

Your incident reminded me of an experiment we did in a social psychology class where we had to "accidentally" drop a bunch of pencils in a crowded area and observe who helped. Pretty much everyone in our class noticed that females are more likely to both give help and receive help. (Myself, I actually had pretty good luck with the guys when I dropped the pencils - I think maybe because I am older and they thought they were helping a teacher.) The guys almost never got help from other guys. In one case, one of the male students from our class wasn't even planning a "drop" and a group of guys happened to bump into him and scatter his pencils. They saw the whole thing happen, and knew it was their fault. But they kept on walking!
My favorite experiment was the Good Samaritan experiment, just because of the irony that was tossed in. Seminary students were required to go from one building to another to give a prepared talk. On the way there, they'd pass a person slumped in the doorway who would cough twice. The idea was to see how many of the seminary students would help the person laying in the doorway.

The variables:
Half of the group were to give a talk on jobs available in the seminary. Half of the group were to give a talk on the Good Samaritan parable.

One third of the group were given a prior task in the first building and released from it only when it was assured they'd be late in arriving to give their talk.
One third of the group were given a prior task to keep them from leaving early, but would definitely arrive on time for their talk unless they wasted too much time along the way.
One third of the group were released early enough that they had time to spare.

The amount of time the students had was the most significant factor in whether they helped the person in need. Ironically, at least a few seminary students that were late stepped directly over the person in need in their hurry to give their talk about the Good Samaritan :rofl:. Still, students on their way to talk about the Good Samaritan were more likely to help the person in need, even if the subject of their talk wasn't as significant as the amount of time they had to get to their talk.

http://people.eku.edu/falkenbergs/psy397/chapter8/sld015.htm

I think the tendency to ignore others in need is a matter of people being very self-centered and only thinking of others when it's convenient for themselves.

Personally, I probably would have helped a person I saw fall on the sidewalk, but only because the first thing I would probably do is laugh and I'd feel kind of guilty :redface:. They probably wouldn't accept my help, but at least they'd have an opportunity to slug me.
 
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It's the "not me" syndrome of apathy. When lots of people are around everyone takes the attitude that someoone else will help. It's actually a known social dynamic, though the term escapes me.
 
It's the "not me" syndrome of apathy. When lots of people are around everyone takes the attitude that someoone else will help. It's actually a known social dynamic, though the term escapes me.
Is it selfishness by virtue of misplaced self interest and fear? Because if no one helps then that's what it is. :smile:
 
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For me it's more a judgment call of what I can actually accomplish by helping. If someone is lying on the ground from a fall and doesn't appear beyond helping themselves I am far less likely to go out of my way. Just an opportunity to show how nice I am is not enough. If I was in a hurry and couldn't make that judgment call quickly enough I would be quicker to just ask if they were going to be ok. Otherwise I would watch long enough to be satisfied they were going to be ok.

Was that enough i's for one post? I'm not so cynical about people. The psychological issues that determine peoples actions are not generally intentionally selfish. We must take care of ourselves first, or otherwise we are being truly selfish asking others to carry our weight. When we switch gears can hinge on some subtle perceptions. The person who helped me when I needed it the most was holding a gun on me the whole time. It wasn't the least bit unreasonable to me at 3 am.
 
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect

Solitary individuals will typically intervene if another person is in need of help: this is known as bystander intervention. However, researchers were surprised to find that help is less likely to be given if more people are present. In some situations, a large group of bystanders may fail to help a person who obviously needs help. An example which shocked many people is the Kitty Genovese case. Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death in 1964 by a serial rapist and murderer. The murder took place over a period of about a half hour, after which it was reported that dozens of alleged "witnesses" failed to help the victim. For this reason, the name Genovese syndrome or Genovese effect was used to describe the phenomenon at the time
 

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