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The Bystander Effect

Understanding the Psychology of Courage and Inaction
Spieldauer: 7 Std. und 27 Min.

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Why do good people so often do nothing when a small intervention could make a big difference? Pioneering psychologist Catherine Sanderson demystifies the mindset of bullies and bystanders to show why courage comes at such a high cost and how we can learn to be brave.

We are bombarded every day by reports of bad behaviour: from sexual harassment to political corruption, from bullying to corporate greed. We believe these things are wrong or even evil, but in practice few of us choose to intercede.

The Bystander Effect draws on the latest developments in psychology and neuroscience to explain why we act differently in groups than when we are alone; how slippery slopes begin and prosper; and where the dissonance lies between good intentions and real action.

Sanderson answers the question of why otherwise good people can become bystanders to evil of any scale and gives practical strategies for how to resist pressures and make change in our own lives.

Courage, this book shows, is not a virtue we’re born with or without. A bystander can learn to be brave.

©2020 Catherine Sanderson (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited


"In this powerful, well-written book, Catherine Sanderson explains what psychology has taught us about why good people so often do nothing. If you have ever regretted being silent (and who hasn't?) this is the book for you." (Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice)

"Thoughtful and beautifully written. A smart and practical guide to becoming a better and braver version of ourselves." (Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness)

"Catherine Sanderson, like no other psychologist, invades our minds. Her riveting storytelling challenges us to rethink why we avert our eyes to evil, tolerate bullying, and excuse unforgivable workplace behaviour." (Walter V. Robinson, former editor of the Pulitzer-winning Boston Globe team) 

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