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Psychology Individual Assignment

1128 words - 5 pages

  The news clip attached reported a girl committed suicide because of being bullied on-line. Bullying through the web is formally named as cyberbullying and it happens more frequently in these days.(Smith, Mahdavi, Carvalho, Fisher, Russell & Tippett, 2008) This essay will try to explain why the victims of cyberbullying can rarely get help from the others and often eventually killed themselves by applying two psychological concepts - bystander effect and self-concept.
  Bystander effect plays a significant negative role in cyberbullying and hinder victims from getting help on internet. The bystander effect is a psychological finding. It proves that people are less willing to offer help when the number of “bystanders” (people who are also watching an event happens and have the strength to offer help) is increasing. Oppositely, if there are no any other “bystanders” nearby can help, people are more willing to offer help.(Darley & Bibb Latané, 1968) For example, Rebecca, the victim who had been cyberbullied (mentioned in the news) got no help from the internet. In this case, there were as many as fifteen suspects put aggressive words on the online message boards and texts to make the victim feels down. Since the suspects were able to harass the victim, the scale of their actions should not be small, which means there should had someone who could help the victim Rebecca against the cyberbullying. But, no one helped her. This is because of diffusion of responsibility, which is one of the factors determining the strength of bystander effect. Diffusion of responsibility refers to the situation that all the “bystanders” expect the others to offer help so all of them feel less responsible and just wait for the others but do nothing by themselves. There are also a few factors leading to bystander effect being activated by internet such as ambiguity and level of emergency. Ambiguity refers to how clear the message of asking help is transmitted to the “bystanders”. Through the internet, people cannot identify the message easily. Then, people cannot feel how emergency is it to help a girl who is being cyberbullied, too.
   The principle of self-concept can also be applied in the news as Rebecca (the victim) was very likely to commit suicide because she desperate for the value of herself. Briefly, self-concept is a collection of beliefs about oneself.(Leflot, Geertje; Onghena, Patrick; Colpin, Hilde (2010)) It crystallizes the answer to "Who am I?" (Myers, 2009) According to Leflot, Onghena and Colpin , “everyone strives to reach an ideal self" and claimed that psychologically healthy people will judge themselves through examinate themselves and do not care too much about how the others judge them. But, the victim Rebecca showed an opposite case. She was lacked of self-affirmation and she tried hard to find her values by being judged by the others instead of self-examination. As a result, Rebecca overreacted to the others, including who want to hurt...

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