“What would you do?“

With the recent popularity of YouTube and other amateur video websites, people have been staging scenarios and filming people’s reactions to them. This is particularly popular in the U.S., where, in addition to amateur reaction videos, in 2008 ABC created a television show called What Would You Do?

In the show, actors and actresses pretend to be in situations in which they would benefit from unsolicited advice (domestic abuse, drugged beverages, etc.), and the show collects statistics on how many people offer advice or warnings.

Typically, most Americans who witness these situations don’t get involved. In one episode, in which a caregiver in a park berates the elderly man for whom he’s supposed to be caring, and refuses to take the elderly man home when asked, only one-quarter of the people who witnessed the interaction intervened. Other episodes typically have similar statistics of intervention.