A clip from a staged-murder created by the PR firm Thinkmodo
Two woman react in this screen shot by hitting the actors with flowers.
Thinkmodo says about 80 percent of the bystanders did not react to the staged-murder.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A viral video made by a public relations firm is getting quite the buzz. It shows what appears to be a murder in progress. However, what may be just as shocking are people's responses to the simulated violence.
PR firm Thinkmodo created the video both as a social experiment and to promote an upcoming movie. The firm says only about 20 percent of people who witnessed the fake murder even attempted to help the victim.
"I was taken back by just the lack of involvement of people. (Many) just kind of had the blank states. (They were) just kind of consumed with their own life," said Valley Psychiatrist Michael Yasinski.
In the video, two actors struggle inside an elevator. One appears to be strangling the other. Multiple hidden cameras show some bystanders walking away. Others simply watch with little emotion. One man even snaps a picture with his cell phone.
"(I believe the reaction is due to) the overall desensitization to violence and traumatic events that we have. We see it on TV. We play video games. Violence now is not only acceptable but actually entertaining for a lot of us," explained Yasinski.
Yasinski says people who witness traumatic events usually process them in three quick stages. First, is the event real? Second, could I be physically harmed? And third, what would happen if I try to help?
Yasinski says people react based on those answers.
"I think really looking at our society now is a lot different than it used to be. In large portion, we've almost lost our moral compass to a certain degree," he stated.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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