126 Sunnatain Aur Adaab

Ameer Sunnat

he number of individuals present in the situation requiring help is also a mediating factor in one’s decision to give aid, where the more individuals are present, the less likely it is for one particular individual to give aid due to a reduction in perceived personal responsibility. This is known as diffusion of responsibility, where the responsibility one feels for the person(s) in need is divided by the number of bystanders. Another factor that comes into play is evaluation apprehension, which simply refers to the fear of being judged by other bystanders. Finally, pluralistic ignorance may also lead to someone not intervening. This refers to relying on the reaction of others, before reacting yourself.

Additionally, Piliavin et al. (1981) noted that individuals are likely to maximize their rewards and minimize their costs when determining whether or not to give aid in a situation – that is, that people are rationally self-motivated. Prosocial behavior is more likely to occur if the cost of helping is low (i.e. minimal time, or minimal effort), if helping would actually benefit the individual providing the help in some way, and if the rewards of providing the help are large. If it is in an individual’s interest to help, they will most likely do so, especially if the cost of not providing the help is great.

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