The Dangers of Conformity & the Bystander Effect

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Social Studies

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The Dangers of Conformity & the Bystander Effect

The Dangers of Conformity & the Bystander Effect

A social psychological phenomenon in cases where individuals do not offer help in an emergency situation when other people are present. Being a witnesser yet not affecting the situation.

Bystander Effect

Conformity is a type of social influence involving a change in belief or behavior in order to fit in with a group.


Social NormsUnwritten rules created by society to guide behavior.

Social Norm ExampleCommonly in many cases, when someone close to an individual is celebrating its birthday, the individual brings and provides the birthday person with a present or birthday gift without being told to bring one.

Bystander Effect Example:When an individual notices a street dog who is wounded, lost or impacted by living on the streets (frightened, dusty, old looking) and yet does nothing to affect the situation of the animal.


Conformity Example:When a human is new to an environment (school, work, etc) and as a try to fit in within this new community, the individual pursues approval and bases his actions upon the people who surround it, this leads to the individual acting or trying to act a certain way according to what everyone else is already displaying even in cases where the person does not really approve.

Human Rights Violations: BystanderThe Bystander effect violates Article 25 from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Right to an adequate living standard. It says that everyone has the right to the things you and your family needs to live a healthy comfortable life. The bystander effect violates this right, because whoever is the bystander is not providing this right to the victim.

Human Rights Violations: ConformityThe conformitive effect violates article 18 from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. The conformitive effect violates this right as the cases of such social influence consist on acting and thinking a certain way (not oneselves), basing off from the people around the affected individual. When this cases occur, the individual feels pressured to act a different way from what they truly are, violating article 18.

Human Rights Violations: Conformity 2The conformitive effect also violates article 2 from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Everyone is free from discrimination. The conformitive effect violates this right, because in most of the cases in which this social influence occurs, it originates from social pressure or discrimination against the way of living or being of the individual affected.

Human Rights Violations: Bystander effect 2The bystander effect violates article 14 from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Everyone has the right to be and feel protected in another country. A case from this phenomenon can occur in a different country from where the individual lives, if an accident was to occur in a different country and no one did anything, then this right would be violated.

Causes of Conformity 2:People tend to act based on others people thoughts and way of being as a way to avoid being excluded.

Causes of Conformity:A conformity case usually originates when an individual is pressured by the people surrounding it or social media to act or be a certain way. It can occur after a period of time were the person was bullied. The origins of a conformity case can be explained with the theory of socialization. The theory of socialization is when groups in society act based on social norms and how they are taught by agents of socialization (family, community, friends). This two relate with the case of bullying as an example. The individual who was bullied, as a way of self defense starts to act based on the way the bullies carry themselves, changing to be able to fit in. The person being bullied learns from this agents of socialization (bullies) to act a certain way to be accepted.

Bystander Effect Solution:ASK! If an individual is not completely sure wether a person is in need of aid, they should ask the people in its surrounding. This solution may not work in every case (a murder, a rape), but it can be of help in other situations (A child drowning and nobody noticing).

Causes of the Bystander EffectIn some cases were the bystander effect occurs, the bystander itself is not aware of the situation or the incident, the person is not in notice of the victim needing aid, which results in them not providing attention to the situation.

Causes of Bystander Effect: In certain cases, bystanders may not react to the accident or the occasion as they think and feel that other individuals that end up being too bystanders will react to the emergency situation and give assistance.

Possible Solutions

Causes of the Bystander EffectA bystander effect case can occur when the bystander does not react because no one else is reacting either. This would be a case of bystander and conformity effect in one. The bystander does not react as the other bystanders are not reacting either. The individual feels as though it should not interfere as no one else is interfering.

Conformity Solutions:It is hard to find a solution for conformity, as it all resides within ourselves. The solution for conformity is to believe in ourselves and trust our minds. It might be hard to do as so many people are not confident, but you still need to try. It is the only way to find a solution for conformity. To believe in yourself and trust your thoughts with an opened mind.

Conformity Solution:Fight conformity with conformity. To solve negative conformity, we have to fight with conformity too. If one's starts to act uniquely and pursues the unique, other people surrounding the individual are going to also pursue uniqueness and will not be able to conform that easily. Nowadays, more and more people are in search for what it unique, it is a way of conformity. It is the search for our own unique personality. Many people do it without noticing, but it influences others. If we truly want to solve negative conformity, we have to fight it with conformity too. Just be yourself! Love yourself!

By: Isabela H.


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