The bystander effect is a phenomenon where the higher the number of people present, the lower the chance that they are willing to help another individual in distress. In an emergency situation, observers will most likely take action where there are fewer or no witnesses present. When people are a part of a large crowd, usually no single individual takes responsibility for actions or inactions. For example, if an emergency happens in a less populated beach, passers by are more likely to help because they expect no one else to take responsibility. If a man faints in a deserted street, a witness is willing to help even by just calling emergency response units. However, if the same was to happen in a crowded area, people are likely to just watch while taking no action. Therefore, the bystander effect is an inhibiting influence brought about by the presence of other people on an individual’s willingness to help others in need. Even in emergency situations, a bystander would not extend help when there is imagined or real presence of others compared to when alone or in a less crowded situation. Serious consequences in such a situation may include the loss of life due to inaction or inappropriate response, feelings of guilt for not helping, and the formation of a culture of diffusion of responsibility. For example, people always seem to stay away from other people’s business even when it means not intervening in an emergency.
Informed concept is defined as the provision of permission by human participants prior to being a part of a program, a treatment exercise, or a research study. When a participant provides informed consent, it means that it is an indication that they are fully aware of the conditions of their participation, including understanding issues relating to voluntary involvement and the possible risks, outcomes, or benefits associated to the said participation. As a result, having informed consent not only works to ensure that participants understand the process and nature of the services offered, but also the policies that are therein in terms of confidentiality, practice, and payment. It is a building block of generating a collaborative and trusting process. The implications of informed consent in social psychological research is that psychologists must operate with the full knowledge of the participants. It means that all research partakers are aware of the process, their responsibilities, the benefits, the possible risks, the outcomes, their involvement, the basis of their presence, and what their rights are in terms of getting information, sharing it, and the same for the entire process. Informed consent allows research to be based on an ethical foundation. The intent of informed consent is that people can participate freely with full information relating to what it means to partake and are aware of what is required of them at all times.
Lab experiment method involves the manipulation of one variable in social psychology in an attempt to determine if any changes in the variable lead to a change in another. The method is dependent on a controlled approach to test hypothesis. In this approach, researchers decide on the location of the experiment, the time, the participants, and the circumstances and standardized procedures to use. The advantage of this method is that accurate measurements are easier to attain. It is also easier to replicate because of the use of standardized processes. It also enables precise control of independent and extraneous variables to establish a cause-and-effect relationship. However, artificial settings often produce unnatural behavior that is not reflective of real life. For example, participants in a controlled environment will often act differently compared to when they are in real life settings. It leads to low ecological validity. Another limitation is that experiment effects and demand characteristics may create bias on the results and create confounding variables.
In the correlational research method in social psychology, a non-experimental approach is taken. In this approach, the relationship between variables with the aid of statistical analysis is studied. In correlational research, the effects of extraneous variables do not occur on the variables being studied. For example, social psychologists may conduct a correlational evaluation looking for the connection between video games and aggressive behavior in young men. The process may involve conducting surveys, compiling previous studies, direct observations, and statistical analysis of different variables at given timeframes. The advantages of this approach is that no variable undergoes manipulation. It is also important that two different data collection strategies are used in the approach. The results from such a method are more applicable to real life. It provides a beneficial starting point for research. However, it only uncovers relationships and fails to uncover what variable has more influence, and is very time consuming.