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The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

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Season 3

The Kindness of Strangers
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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 talking to Kitty’s brother and Lady Gaga’s mother 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?