Your Brain On Climate

Bystander Effect, with Gerdien de Vries

March 18, 2023 Episode 16
Your Brain On Climate
Bystander Effect, with Gerdien de Vries
Show Notes

Yes you probably WOULD walk by on the other side, wouldn't you, and don't say you wouldn't, because you would.  Alas, a trio of brain wirings add up to the so-called Bystander Effect: our tendency to stand in a crowd of people watching someone flail in a canal, hoping it's not us that has to get our frock wet to jump in and save them. 

In this episode Dave learns all about the Bystander Effect with Dr Gerdien de Vries from TU Delft. What is it? Why is it? And can working out what'll make us jump in the canal, make us more likely not to stand by and watch the world burn? 

Check out Gerdien's excellent climate psychology talk here.

Owl noises:
-- 05:47: the sad story of Kitty Genovese and why as Gerdien says, it's not entirely right.
-- 09:59: you really should know what cognitive dissonance is by now, but if not here's a primer from the always excellent folks at the Decision Lab.

Your Brain on Climate is a podcast about human psychology vs the climate crisis: what we think, why we think it, and how it all adds up to a planet-sized emergency.  Contact the show:  @brainclimate on Twitter, or

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The show is hosted by me, Dave Powell, who you can find @powellds on Twitter.  Original music by me, and I twiddle all the production knobs too.

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