What Would You Do?

Dear Engaged Bystander:  I am not someone who watches a lot of TV, but this new program, "What Would You Do?" fascinates me.  The premise of the ABC "News" Program is that they have various situations played by actors and then see how people react.  There are a number of scenarios that are well worth watching:

  • “Would you Stop Sexual Harassment at Diner?”.
  • "Man Lures Drunken Girl, What Would You Do?"
  • When a woman on her first date goes to the bathroom, her date puts a powder in her drink. 

In each of these scenarios, it can show who is most likely to act.  In the first situation of a diner, it was typically the men who did something or said something.  Many said that she reminded them of their daughters or their wives.  The research shows that when the bystander identifies with the potential victim or has empathy for them, they are more likely to say something or do something.  But when the young actress being "harrassed" changed from a young modestly dressed girl (someone's daughter) to a taller, thin woman wearing a skin tight red dress, no one responded for a long long time.  In this case, some of the people interviewed said they thought she was "asking" for this kind of harrassment by the way she was dressed. 


It is worth looking through these clips and they all would make great training tools for discussion.