An important topic of the option the Psychology of Human Relationships is Social Responsibility. Two areas of content are studied in detail: by-standerism and prosocial behaviour. The murder in New York of a woman called Kitty Genovese first raised questions about how the presence of others and ambiguity of a situation can lead us to inaction when we would never have expected it of ourselves.

This excellent article was published in the Guardian newspaper during the week that her killer died in prison. It exposes the misreporting of the events, but maintains that the bystander effect, as tested by social psychologists, is a real phenomenon, and gives more up-to-date examples.

This post was inspired by Dr Laura Swash.