the story behind

The bystander effect, in more detail, the non-helping-bystander effect. Bystander literally means „person standing by“. The bystander effect is the social psychological phenomenon that occurs in accidents or criminal acts. In short, this effect means: People become passive bystanders instead of active helpers, especially in a large crowd. Psychology and sociology define the bystander effect: the willingness to do something is lower the more people are present.


is also called the Genovese syndrome. This expression arose because of the dramatic case of Kitty Genovese, a U.S. citizen who fell victim to an assassination attempt in New York City in 1964. The murder dragged on for over half an hour and was witnessed by at least 37 people in the neighborhood, without anyone even coming to the aid of this woman.