Fall/Winter 2006-07 (Volume III, Issue 2)


The Bystander’s Dilemma

This issue takes a provocative look at “the psychology of the bystander”: What is it that induces some people to come to the aid of others in distress, while other people do nothing? Scientists have considered this question for years. Now Greater Good examines the fruits of their research and applies it to contemporary ethical issues concerning education, war, journalism, and more.

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From The Editors

In Brief

Join the Club (02)

By | September 1, 2006


The Biology of Empathy (03)

By | September 1, 2006


A Focusing Illusion (04)

By | September 1, 2006



Bystanders to Genocide (05)

By | September 1, 2006

An Interview with Philip Gourevitch



We Are All Bystanders (06)

By | September 1, 2006

But we don’t have to be. Dacher Keltner and Jason Marsh explain why we sometimes shackle our moral instincts, and how we can set them free.


Kitty Genovese, American Icon (07)

By | September 1, 2006

Women and children are reunited with their families after being imprisoned by Serb authorities during the Bosnian civil war

Courage Under Fire (08)

By | September 1, 2006

When the Bosnian civil war broke out, Svetlana Broz searched for the humanity behind the horrific headlines. She found stories of people who risked their lives to help victims of the war—and who inspired others to follow their example.

Examples of physical and verbal bullying depicted in the authors' video

Playground Heroes (10)

By | September 1, 2006

Who can stop bullying? Not just parents and teachers, argue Ken Rigby and Bruce Johnson.


“That’s Just Messed Up” (11)

By | September 1, 2006


Why Do We Walk On By? (12)

By | September 1, 2006

To find empathy for the homeless, Marc Ian Barasch put himself in their shoes for a week.


The Rules of Engagement (13)

By | September 1, 2006

Journalists are bystanders to the world around them, often witnessing people in great distress. When should they put down their cameras and notebooks and help their subjects? Roger Simpson explains when journalists should get involved —and when they shouldn’t.


Caught in the Crossfire (14)

By | September 1, 2006


The Eye of the Storm (15)

By | September 1, 2006

In Hurricane Katrina, photojournalist Ted Jackson did more than take pictures.

Many of the guards in the Stanford Prison Experiment didn't speak out when they witnessed abuse by their fellow guards; nearly 30 years later, guards at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq acted in nearly the same way.

The Banality of Heroism (16)

By | September 1, 2006

Circumstances can force almost anyone to be a bystander to evil, but they can also bring out our own inner hero. Zeno Franco and Philip Zimbardo show how we’re all capable of everyday heroism.


The Prison Guard’s Dilemma (17)

By | September 1, 2006


Finding Meaning in Medicine (18)

By | September 1, 2006

Physician burnout, rushed and impersonal care for patients—this is what's ailing the medical profession today. Some doctors have a prescription for change.


Beyond “Do No Harm” (19)

By | September 1, 2006


Each One, Help One (20)

By | September 1, 2006

As working families find it ever harder to pay their bills, a nonprofit organization connects small donors to people with modest needs.


Tools for the Greater Good

The Making of an Upstander (09)

By | September 1, 2006


Book Reviews

Book Review: Stumbling on Happiness (21)

By | September 1, 2006

By Daniel Gilbert
Knopf, 2006, 277 pages


The Anatomy of Peace (22)

By | September 1, 2006

By The Arbinger Institute
Berrett-Koehler, 2006, 231 pages


Book Review: Critical Lessons (23)

By | September 1, 2006

By Nel Noddings
Cambridge University Press, 2006, 319 pages


Book Review: What Children Need (24)

By | September 1, 2006

By Jane Waldfogel
Harvard University Press, 2006, 269 pages


Ideas for the Greater Good

What is Social Intelligence? (25)

By | September 1, 2006




Greater Good Events

The Science of Happiness

Register now for the acclaimed online course, re-launching January 5, 2016

The Science of Happiness

A free online course exploring the roots of a happy, meaningful life. Co-taught by the GGSC’s Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas. Up to 16 CE credit hours available.


Take a Greater Good Quiz!

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Watch Greater Good Videos

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.


Greater Good Resources


Book of the Week

Gratitude Works! By Robert A. Emmons The world's leading scientific expert on gratitude offers a step-by-step guide to becoming a more grateful person.

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