Equity and the Innocent Bystander1


  • 1

    This research was supported in part by National Institute of Mental Health Grants 16661 and 16729 and in part by National Science Foundation Grants GS-30822X, GS-27053, and GS-32335.


This paper attempts to integrate equity theory and specialized theories and data concerning the reactions of bystanders and victims caught up in emergencies. The authors first examine three factors which determine the bystander's response to emergency situations: whether or not bystanders attend to an emergency; how aroused bystanders become by the emergency; how the bystander responds to the emergency — i.e., by helping, by denigrating the victim, or by running away. Finally, they examine factors which affect how the victim will respond to the bystander who either provides or denies him assistance.