I finally found a term that describes the situation when an individual leaves the toilet paper roll empty, ignores the cats’ depleted food dish and refuses to discard the box after eating the final cracker. It’s “diffusion of responsibility.” This occurs when one thinks that someone else will take care of the problem, and therefore doesn’t personally address it.
I came across this term when I was trying to understand what causes some people to act, and some people to stand by. My husband recently slid on the ice at a gas station, and no one came to help. He wasn’t hurt; still, I couldn’t believe that not a soul came over to see if he was OK.