What is it?
When unidentified and in crowds, people feel diminished responsibility and are less likely to act.
Why does it work?
It works because in “anonymity” there is no accountability so we can be as lazy and irresponsible and there are no consequences. This is how you can see people being attacked in the street and no-one does anything. These people are not “responsible” and are expecting others to act – and of course then nothing happens.
How can you use it?
To overcome the bystander effect you need to identify your audience. Use their name, call them out in emails and all communications where possible. Personalise everything you can so that the person feels identified and not anonymous – then they are more likely to act.
This is why marketing emails and letters, coke bottles, cups of coffee and much more features your name – these companies are engaging with you by not allowing you to be anonymous in the crowd.
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