Social Loafing: Will History Repeat Itself ?
I wrote this piece days before the 2016 election. It was my prediction that Donald Trump would become president based on the concept psychological concept of Social Loafing. Today in 2018, as we vote for seats in the Senate and the House, take a retrospective glance to see if history will tragically repeat itself because of the American voters’ negligence.
The Story of Catherine Genovese
One March night in 1964, a young woman named Catherine “Kitty” Genovese had just left her job at a bar around 3:30 AM.
It was an average spring night when she parked her car only a short distance from her apartment in Kew Gardens, Queens, New York City. She noticed a young male following her and began to run, but he caught up with her and stabbed her twice.
She loudly begged for the attacker to stop and many neighbors heard her cries, but only one elderly man screamed, “Leave the girl alone!” The attacker fled the scene and Genovese, who was wounded, staggered into the halls of her apartment- unassisted.
By this time, the attacker was back for more. Wearing a hat to shade his face, he entered the apartment and brutally raped and stabbed Catherine on the floor of her apartment corridor.
The New York Times reported that almost thirty people witnessed the attack, but only her friend and neighbor, Sophia Farrar, came to her rescue after the attack.
Everyone who witnessed the terrible crime wrote it off as a lover’s spat or a drunken brawl. Even the police who were phoned twice were slow to come to this young woman’s aid because they thought it was a simple domestic situation. Genovese died en route to the hospital, she was only twenty-eight years old.
The Bystander Effect/ Social Loafing
The world was shocked that such a terrible crime could take place in the presence of so many witnesses, and from this horrible incident the psychological term the Bystander Effect or Genovese Syndrome was conceived.
The Bystander Effect is a concept that means people are less likely to help when there are other people present. Another psychological concept much like the Bystander Effect, is called Social Loafing which means that a person is less likely to put in high effort in a group setting because they feel other members will do the work.
The senseless tragedy of Catherine Genovese happened because all the witnesses assumed someone else would step up and help.
We all have experienced Social Loafing on some scale. When involved in a group project at work or at school, one individual is going to be forced to do majority of the work, because the other members of the group are depending on someone else to do it.
Sometimes the assignment never gets done well or at all because most members of the group are depending on the other members of the group.
This phenomenon is what I feel will be the downfall of the presidential election of 2016, and why Donald J. Trump will be our next president.
Social Loafing and The 2016 Election
Donald Trump has become a joke in the news media. From his hair, to his campaign slogan, to his fondness of grabbing female genitalia.
We are treating this year’s election like it’s a bonus season of Celebrity Apprentice– complete with a gag reel and unedited behind the scenes footage. The truth is this election is the farthest thing from a meme or an SNL sketch. This election will determine our health care, our taxes, and even our personal safety.
Donald Trump is an unexperienced person without a plan. His intention is to treat America’s future like a negotiable business deal and not like a great country founded by the blood of all our ancestors.
It is easy to be jaded by all the breaking news and not give a damn about who becomes president, because we are leaving one of the greatest president in the history of America for two less than stellar candidates. However, this election should be your primary focus, at least until the polls close on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.
Don’t do to America what the Kew Gardens residences did to young Catherine Genovese- allowed her to be violated and murdered when there was such an easier and better solution.
Don’t be a Social Loafer and depend on everyone else to vote against Trump because let’s face it, Trump’s numbers in the polls are not as bad as you might think.
In mid-October of this year, about two hundred people walked out of comedian Amy Schumer’s show, because she made jokes about Donald Trump. Can you imagine that people who had spent their hard-earned cash walked out of a fairly expensive comedy show simply because a few harmless jokes were maked about Donald Trump? Many people even took to the social media site Twitter to reprimand Schumer’s choice in jokes.
Just about ten minutes ago I checked several credible news sources (I even checked Fox, LOL) and each source stated that Hilary Clinton is only leading the polls by about three percent, even with a margin of error.
Three percent is not a lot, people! It will only take a few thousand people to vote for Trump on Tuesday to make him the next president of the United States of America.
I will admit I am not a strong Clinton supporter, because I just witnessed a comet (Obama) how can I be satisfied with just a star? But all in all, I do believe that she will run this country fairly and with respect for all people – what more can you ask of a president?
The Future of Our Nation
The choice is yours, but don’t be a bystander. Catherine Genovese could have been alive today. 81 years old, hair full of the beautiful silver of wisdom, deep laugh lines telling the stories of weddings, babies, and love given and received. But because about twenty-eight people chose to wait on the other to do something, one attacker shattered Kitty’s body and lay all her earthly dreams to rest in the cold hard ground.
I urge you not to leave America to a similar fate. Practice the freedom that all of our Ancestors-Black, White, Hispanic, and Asian- fought for. GO VOTE!