Crowded minds: The implicit bystander effect

Stephen M. Garcia, Kim Weaver, Gordon B. Moskowitz, John M. Darley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Five studies merged the priming methodology with the bystander apathy literature and demonstrate how merely priming a social context at Time 1 leads to less helping behavior on a subsequent, completely unrelated task at Time 2. In Study 1, participants who imagined being with a group at Time 1 pledged significantly fewer dollars on a charity-giving measure at Time 2 than did those who imagined being alone with one other person. Studies 2-5 build converging evidence with hypothetical and real helping behavior measures and demonstrate that participants who imagine the presence of others show facilitation to words associated with unaccountable on a lexical decision task. Implications for social group research and the priming methodology are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-853
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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