Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Psychology experiment conducted in front of the bookstore

Cerritos College students assume that when an emergency arises, they will help without hesitation, but as Professor Kimberley Duff’s social psychology class demonstrated, not everyone is willing to help a stranger in need.

Duff’s class was assigned a final group projected in which her students had to apply the psychology applications in the real world.

“It is fantastic… it’s called an action learning project where basically they have to take concepts from the field of social psychology and actually implement them out in the field, out in the real world,” said Duff.

A secondary objective of the project was to take that data and educate people on their results, in order to educate the Cerritos students and achieve a positive result.

Fatima Akilo, psychology major and Bruce Rainay, sociology major, choose to demonstrate pro-social behavior and conversely, the bystander effect.

“The main idea of the project was to pick a topic that was relevant to the campus, the community and try to make positive change,” Akilo said.

“We felt that being safe and knowing that your chances of receiving help are high on campus is important,” Akilo added.

The bystander is a behavior that happens when there is an emergency or someone in need; the more people there are around the less likely to receive or give assistance. This is because many people see a crowd and believe that “someone in the crowd will help, I don’t have to help.”

This is called defusing of responsibility, according to Rainay.

The group staged a scenario in front of the student bookstore where a student would drop change and see how many people would help or not help. The group would then interview the people who noticed, helped or didn’t to gather real data.

Of the 67 participants, both female and male, the percentage of those who helped were 61 percent and those who did not were 37 percent. Only one person did not notice the scenario. Out of the 67 participants, 43 percent were male and 56 percent were female.

“On the central grounds, we introduced the information to people around campus, in the classrooms. We had a total of 39 people we handed out pamphlets to,” Akilo said.

“It was very interesting. I think the project was good and it was interesting,” Rainay said.

Akilo hopes that the project will bring awareness to this problem and that students who were faced with an emergency would take personal responsibility and render assistance.

“Research shows that if you educate people about these concepts and about these obstacles and challenges, then people will be more vigilant. They’ll be more conscious about stopping and providing assistance.”

“Especially in a campus environment, it’s really important because if people are more likely to stop and ask people if they need assistance it make it [Cerritos College] have more of a community feel,” said Professor Duff.

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About the Contributors
Gustavo Lopez, Online Editor
I have coffee for blood and I'm not entirely sure I'm human anymore. I sort of stumbled into journalism and Talon Marks but I'm glad I did because I've always lacked direction, even though I've always been told I'm "smart." I've never really felt smart, more like the world doesn't make sense and I'm just trying to make sense of it. I'm a huge gamer and geek and the very model of a scientist Salarian. One thing you'll hear me say usually after several cups of coffee is either "I am Krogan" or "it had to be me, someone else would have gotten it wrong." I hope the editors and the new staff learn from my past mistakes, as well the ones that came before. I wish everyone the best in whatever they may pursue. Let's kick some ass, write good news and show them Talon Marks is more than just the newspaper. We're a team and family. This is Goose signing off, go get'em. 
Zeinab Chahine, Staff Writer
Spring 2014 Hi, my name is Zeinab Chahine, I am a journalism student at Cerritos College. What spiked my interest in journalism is how active and interesting it is and how the profession allows us to study, investigate and write about different topics. I am a full time student who takes school very seriously. I try to be as active as I can when I can. I'm currently in a swim class and in my spare time, I like to either ride my bike or go hiking.
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Psychology experiment conducted in front of the bookstore