When Kitty Genovese was murdered, her family and the wider world was told that bystanders watched, but did nothing to intervene. Psychologists tried to explain this callous inaction with a popular theory – the ”bystander effect.”
Dr. Laurie Santos was taught this theory — that most people won’t step in to help — but in talking to Kitty’s brother about what he’s learned in the years since that tragic day as well as to Lady Gaga’s mother Cynthia Germanotta about their work with the Born This Way Foundation, she reveals that the ”bystander effect” is wrong. People do like helping out, and we get a happiness boost from being kind. So how do we encourage more bystanders to intervene? Listen now.
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ABOUT THE HAPPINESS LAB
You might think you know what it takes to lead a happier life… more money, a better job, or Instagram-worthy vacations. You’re dead wrong. Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos has studied the science of happiness and found that many of us do the exact opposite of what will truly make our lives better. Based on the psychology course she teaches at Yale–the most popular class in the university’s 300-year history–Laurie will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will change the way you think about happiness. For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show and to sign up to our newsletter visit: happinesslab.fm
ABOUT DR. LAURIE SANTOS
Dr. Laurie Santos is Professor of Psychology and Head of Silliman College at Yale University. Dr. Santos is an expert on human cognition and the cognitive biases that impede better choices. Her course, “Psychology and the Good Life,” teaches students how the science of psychology can provide important hints about how to make wiser choices and live a life that’s happier and more fulfilling. It recently became Yale’s most popular course in over 300 years, and has been featured in numerous news outlets including the New York Times, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, GQ Magazine, Slate and O! Magazine. A winner of numerous awards both for her science and teaching, she was recently voted as one of Popular Science Magazine’s “Brilliant 10” young minds, and was named in Time Magazine as a “Leading Campus Celebrity.”
ABOUT PUSHKIN INDUSTRIES
Pushkin Industries is an audio production company co-founded by Jacob Weisberg and Malcolm Gladwell. Pushkin’s chart-topping shows include Revisionist History, Against the Rules with Michael Lewis, The Happiness Lab, and Cautionary Tales.