Overcoming bystander effect by cueing self awareness
You see someone hurt in the street. Do you help them? Chances are the bystander effect will kick in and you wont, thinking that someone else will help.
So how do you overcome this? Research by van Bommel suggests that nudging people into a self-aware mindset (making people more aware of themselves within a public environment) will remind them of their social reputation and increase the likelihood that they will offer help.
Two online experiments suggest that tweaking a chat room environment to make individual users stand out more - increasing self awareness - led to more user responses to suicidal forum users seeking support. One experiment highlighted the forum user name in red and another experiment saw webcams placed onto computers.
The proliferation of security cameras in public places are one of the interesting implications of the research (bearing in mind the limitations of the online experiments).
[note: it’s not clear from the summary whether users perceived self awareness was measured in the experimental conditions and therefore if the conclusion relates to this measure or an assumed relationship. I haven’t been able to access the full article]