The guilty conscience

After reading about omission bias on Psychology Today a not-so-recent memory came back.

We sometimes blame people for their actions and we tend to skip the people that might have had the opportunity to stop an unfortunate event.

The action is more evident than the passive response. Sometimes, when the action turns wrong, we blame the initiator even though it wasn’t in his thoughts to give a twist to the situation.

How do I relate to this? I was once at a party, preparing to go home. A colleague of mine, that happened to live close to my street, offered me a ride. He was really drunk. We was also the driver. I refused and left with a cab, while my colleague continued partying for another hour or so.

The other day I asked myself what would had happened if we both left the party, he in his car, driving, and me in the taxi. Would I had called the police advising them that there is on drunk driver on the streets of the city? And what if I had avoided the call and the guy would ran over an innocent person? Would I had felt guilty? I realized that yes, that situation would have made me feel guilty because it was in my power to stop him, even though not directly. Or at least to use all my options in trying to stop him from driving drunk.

What would be your reaction in a similar situation?

As a bonus, the video and sound are a must.


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