We proposed that a moderator, others' similarity, would determine the impact of high participation rates of others on an individual's charitable behavior, and aimed to show that this moderator would work through the diffusion of responsibility motive.
Researchers have attributed three main reasons: one, the diffusion of responsibility - that is, the lack of a sense that it is any one person's job to step in, since there are others around who might do so (onlookers are more likely to intervene if there are few or no other witnesses); two, social influence, or the natural human tendency to look around to see how others are acting and shape one's own actions accordingly; and three, simple shyness at standing out from a passive crowd.
Whenever we take action (rather than wait for someone else to do it) when observing someone being stigmatized, one by one, we are combating both the bystander effect and the diffusion of responsibility, with responsible behavior.
The diffusion of responsibility among the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the Surgeon General and Public Health Service, the military, and NIH creates this ambiguity.
It follows from the defense's argument that none of the indicted combatants may reasonably bear responsibility for this war's horror due to the diffusion of responsibility and the inability for any international body to properly adjudicate it.