• QUEENS OF SILENCE

    Passive bystanders in the world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll

    • The "bystander effect"
    • Cognitive biases
    • Conformity
    • Pluralistic ignorance
    • Diffusion of responsibility
    • Evaluation apprehension
    • Victim blaming
    • Illusion of control
    • "Just world" fallacy
  • Ask a roomful of people whether they would act to prevent a sexual assault and nearly all of them will raise their hands.

    Yet both real life examples and social psychological experiments show that when we witness a wrongful act with other bystanders most of us, in fact, do nothing. This isn't because we are bad people, but is due, rather, to a variety of factors that are often collectively referred to as the "bystander effect."

    Some of these factors are external and situation specific. But most are hard-wired instincts that can turn even the most well-intentioned of us into passive bystanders when we most want to--and think we ought to--act.

    In this talk, Jackie explains the psychology of bystander inaction and shows how we can overcome these instincts to become active bystanders. Just as importantly, she explains why people engage--even unconsciously--in victim blaming and what we can do to stop it.