1968年，研究人员John Darley和BibbLatané发表了一篇关于在紧急情况下扩散责任的着名研究。在某种程度上，他们的研究旨在更好地理解1964年发生的Kitty Genovese谋杀事件，该事件引起了公众的注意。当Kitty在下班回家时遭到袭击时，“纽约时报”报道说有数十人目睹了袭击，但没有采取行动帮助Kitty。虽然令人震惊的是，如此多的人可以亲眼目睹这一事件，Darley和Latané怀疑当其他人出现时，人们实际上不太可能采取行动。研究人员表示，当其他可以提供帮助的人出现时，人们可能会感觉不到个人责任感。他们也可能认为其他人已经采取了行动，特别是如果他们无法看到其他人如何回应。事实上，听过Kitty Genovese遭到袭击的人之一说，她认为其他人已经报道了发生的事情。
In 1968, researchers John Darley and Bibb Latané published a famous study on the responsibility for proliferation in emergencies. To some extent, their research aims to better understand the murder of the Kitty Genovese in 1964, which caught the attention of the public. When Kitty was attacked when he got home from work, the New York Times reported that dozens of people witnessed the attack but did not take action to help Kitty. Although it is shocking that so many people can witness this incident, Darley and Latané suspect that when others appear, people are actually less likely to take action. Researchers say that when other people who can help appear, people may not feel personal responsibility. They may also think that others have taken action, especially if they can’t see how others respond. In fact, one of the people who had heard of Kitty Genovese’s attack said she thought others had reported what had happened.