The bystander effect suggests that the more witnesses there are to an emergency, the less likely an individual bystander is to intervene. This phenomenon was identified as a particular consequence of the assault and murder of Kitty Genovese in New York in 1964, which was witnessed by some 38 people, all of whom remained bystanders and failed to come to Kitty’s aid.
Scientists have been unable to study the bystander effect, even under controlled conditions, due to ethical and practical reasons. However, researchers say advanced animated humans and environments created by the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) at Bournemouth, University will give scientists a unique opportunity to test the bystander effect in the context of a ‘controlled’ immersive virtual environment.
Apparently, animation in psychology studies requires that people have bodies like superheroes. Credit: National Centre for Computer Animation at Bournemouth University