It’s Always Good to Help When Possible But…: Identifying Obstacles to Bystander Anti-Prejudice

By Anne Pedersen, Karee Stewart and Yin Paradies.

Published by The International Journal of Diversity in Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 9, 2014 $US5.00

Bystander action is an important strategy in combating prejudice and discrimination against minority groups. Seven factors likely to influence intention to act when witnessing prejudice/discrimination were examined among 150 Australian community participants in relation to two scenarios about refugees. One involved a confrontation on a train (high risk) and the other involved hearing a prejudicial joke (low risk). Fear of reprisal was the most significant obstacle to intervention in the high risk scenario and the perception that the incident was not serious enough was the most significant obstacle in the low-risk scenario. As expected, participants indicated an increased likelihood of acting in the low-risk compared to the high-risk scenario.

Keywords: Bystander anti-prejudice, refugees, prejudice, discrimination

The International Journal of Diversity in Education, Volume 13, Issue 3, May 2014, pp.39-53. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 9, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 372.711KB)).

Assoc. Prof. Anne Pedersen

Associate Professor of Psychology, School of Psychology, Murdoch University, WA, Australia

Associate Professor Anne Pedersen is an applied social/community psychologist who specialises in prejudice against different cultural groups. She convenes a research group, Prejudice Mob, which includes researchers across disciplines and states in Australia who are interested in prejudice-related issues. Her main areas of research currently include prejudice against asylum seekers/refugees, Indigenous Australians, and Muslim Australians.

Karee Stewart

School of Psychology, Murdoch University, Australia

Assoc. Prof. Yin Paradies

Associate Professor, Deakin University, Australia