The tube doors opened and I stepped inside, immediately struck by the rather sharp smell of fried food and wine.
At least a dozen collection boxes were scattered across the floor of the carriage, along with broken glass from a broken bottle.
Part of the white wine it once contained was sucked in by discarded newspapers and created a soaked mush that had spread the feet of the unaware passengers.
Instead of getting angry with litter commuters on the London Underground (file image of Embankment Station), why not take action and refute the phenomenon known as the “bystander effect”
I travel on the metro every day, but I have never seen such a massacre. I sat down next to other passengers and we sat silently staring at the mess.
I was silent that people would treat public transport like a tip; I wondered when a cleaner could be warned and the broken glass would come to pick up, if nothing else.
Then I had a light bulb moment: instead of getting angry, why didn’t I do something?
It occurred to me that, in spite of disapproving the mess and smell, we all showed a phenomenon known as the “bystander effect” in that carriage.
The majority of people traveling in the underground exhibit characteristics of the psychological concept, despite the fact that they disapprove the mess of the train (file image)
None of us was willing to take the first step. We were all waiting to take our lead from someone else.
I first heard about the phenomenon of bystanders, albeit in very different circumstances, as a psychiatrist in training. A teacher told us about the tragic case of Kitty Genovese, who was stabbed to death in 1964 in Kew Gardens, New York.
Subsequent investigations concluded that a total of 38 people saw the long-term attack or screamed for help – but did nothing to intervene.
The case produced a number of psychological experiments that explored the bystander effect in more detail and discovered that it was widespread.
The assassination of Kitty Genovese in Kew Gardens, New York, in 1964, produced a number of psychological experiments that explored the “bystander effect.” It is thought that a total of 38 people have seen the long-lasting attack or heard her (photo) cry for help – but have done nothing to intervene
Various factors contribute to such behavior.
During an incident, people will wait to see if others get involved – it is called “diffusion of responsibility.”
In the aftermath, local people often say that they felt insufficiently qualified or important enough to be the first person to participate.
Such passivity is also partly due to “pluralistic ignorance” – the idea that, since no one else responds or responds, this must be the right course of action.
It is intriguing that studies have shown that people are once aware of the effect of bystanders and are less likely to suffer from the effect.
This reminded me of the place. So I picked up a newspaper from the floor and started cleaning up the broken glass. The response from other passengers was amazing. An opposite woman said she would help. Then a man produced a plastic bag to put in the trash. Later in the carriage, another man began to pick up papers.
The train stopped at a station and someone got on it. He paused for a moment and looked at all of us before he stood in himself.
By the time we reached the next stop, the carriage was free of litter. I got out with three bags of waste, which I handed over to a bewildered cleaner who was standing on the platform.
Apart from the environmental impact of litter, I am interested in its psychological aspects: how litter in the street communicates an acceptance of decline and a lack of interest in doing something about it.
This is called the “broken windows” theory – the idea that visible signs of crime, antisocial behavior and civil unrest create an urban environment that encourages further crime and disorder.
But it also offers an opportunity for socially conscious and socially minded people to make a difference if we can only learn to overcome the bystander effect and realize that we can be an agent of change.
It is annoying and frustrating that people can be so selfish and carefree, but at least my fellow Tube passengers and I responded positively that day – eventually.
On a personal level it was satisfying to consider that instead of grumbling, I had taken action. And it was the push I needed to sign up for the Great British Spring Clean campaign from Mail, organized with Keep Britain Tidy. I have actually already started collecting litter. I really hope you will join me.
A campus uniform ban? Thats crazy!
Students from the University of Cambridge want to ban soldiers from their Freshers’ Fair because their presence causes mental health problems.
This is crazy. I am so tired of people jumping on the mental health bandwagon and using it to promote their political views. The students promote a pacifist agenda, but dress it up as a concern for mental health. In the process they reduce legitimate concerns about mental illness.
Bonkers: students from Cambridge University (file image) want to ban military personnel from their Freshers’ Fair on the grounds that their presence causes mental health problems
In living memory, a generation of young men – including many who have studied at Cambridge University – have volunteered to fight in two world wars. Many of them have never returned.
But now we have a generation that can’t even handle someone wearing camouflage clothing. National service ended in 1963, but I wonder if we should re-enter it.
I have had several friends from countries where national service is still required – Israel, Greece and Russia – and the difference before and after is striking. They return to civilian life, fitter, more confident, self-sufficient and mature.
Telephone feeds a child epidemic
The number of children being treated for eating disorders on the NHS has increased by 50 percent, according to the Children’s Health Commissioner’s report on mental health.
This should make every parent worry because the situation is only getting worse.
The spread of smartphones means that most of us – especially the technically educated youngsters – have constant access to a camera.
The number of admissions for children with eating disorders (file image) has increased by 50 percent, according to the report on mental health of the pediatric commissioner. The rise of smartphones plays a crucial role in stimulating the development of an increasingly obsessed society, Dr. claimed. Max
This has led to the development of an increasingly obsessed society in which Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and other social media platforms encourage us to share carefully posed photos of ourselves.
And thanks to photoshopping apps, especially young people are bombarded with images that look natural but have actually been carefully manipulated.
This culture puts young people under increasing pressure to conform to unrealistic beauty standards, and makes them more likely to diet. For people with underlying psychological and emotional problems, dieting can become an eating disorder.
Social media companies have the responsibility to mark images that have been digitally manipulated. Until they do, the anorexia and bulimia epidemic will continue.
- According to a study by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), women in maternity departments are denied the care of an obstetrician.
The report found that nearly a fifth of women could not get help during labor and delivery – while 37 percent said they had not had access to an obstetrician after birth.
Despite repeated commitments to improve “continuity of care”, only 9 percent of women saw the same obstetrician during pregnancy and in the early days of motherhood.
This is terrible on so many levels – not least because we know that the main cause of maternal mortality within a year after a pregnancy is shocking suicide.
The NHS has set up specialized mental health services to support pregnant women and new mothers, but in order to gain access to a woman, a health care provider must notice that there is a problem.
If postnatal care is insufficient, struggling new mothers will continue to fall through.
Dr. Max writes … Musical: Everyone talks about Jamie
This feel-good coming-of-age musical about a young boy being bullied at school because he dreams of being a drag queen has become an unlikely hit of the West End.
Feelgood factor: Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie smile back on stage during a London show of Everybodys Talking About Jamie (photo, February 2019)
I know I’m late for the party, but it’s based on a true story and I loved it. If you know a young person who has trouble finding his way, this show has a hugely positive message that will cheer their minds.
This week’s report on the independent investigation of surgeon Ian Paterson, who performed failed and unnecessary breast cancer operations on hundreds of women, is yet another illustration of how urgently the profession should get its house in order.
A system of annual and five-year rehabilitation assessments was introduced in 2002, following the conviction of Nottingham GP Harold Shipman, who murdered up to 250 of his patients. The aim was to identify and stop “malicious” doctors earlier and to protect the public. This did not happen. I have just completed my assessment and rehabilitation. It is an annoying waste of effort.
I had to take four days off to write 30,000 words. Rather than filling in meaningless forms, I would rather have a process where doctors are observed at work in operations, in departments and in the theater, by independent assessors, just as teachers are inspected during teaching. Surely there is a better chance of finding the doctors who are ashamed of the profession that way?