This article has an erratum: [erratum]

Europhys. Lett.
Volume 73, Number 2, January 2006
Page(s) 306 - 312
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 09 December 2005
Europhys. Lett., 73 (2), pp. 306-312 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10378-5

Rescue model for the bystanders' intervention in emergencies

H.-H. Jo, W.-S. Jung and H.-T. Moon

Department of Physics, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology Daejeon 305-701, Korea

received 20 September 2005; accepted in final form 16 November 2005
published online 9 December 2005

To investigate the effect of social interaction on the bystanders' intervention in emergency situations we introduce a rescue model which includes the effects of the victim's acquaintance with bystanders and those among bystanders. This model reproduces the surprising experimental result that the helping rate tends to decrease although the number of bystanders k increases. The model also shows that given the coupling effect among bystanders, for a certain range of small k the helping rate increases according to k and that coupling effect plays both positive and negative roles in emergencies.

87.23.Ge - Dynamics of social systems.
89.65.-s - Social and economic systems.
89.90.+n - Other topics in areas of applied and interdisciplinary physics.

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