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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2002 Oct;83(4):843-53.

Crowded minds: the implicit bystander effect.

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Department of Psychology, Princeton University, New Jersey 08544-1010, USA.


Five studies merged the priming methodology with the bystander apathy literature and demonstrate how merely priming a social context at Time 1 leads to less helping behavior on a subsequent, completely unrelated task at Time 2. In Study 1, participants who imagined being with a group at Time 1 pledged significantly fewer dollars on a charity-giving measure at Time 2 than did those who imagined being alone with one other person. Studies 2-5 build converging evidence with hypothetical and real helping behavior measures and demonstrate that participants who imagine the presence of others show facilitation to words associated with unaccountable on a lexical decision task. Implications for social group research and the priming methodology are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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