Interview Report

a. Diagnostic Imaging. Why are we afraid to go out of our way to help others?

b. I interviewed Susan Finch,  a psychology teacher at Dawson.

c. Honestly, I do not think this interview was successful because it was even shorter than I expected. I was talking about what I discovered in my research and I hoped she would have had something new to add, but nothing really different came up. She was very friendly and approachable but maybe I just didn’t find a connection to begin with.

d. I conducted my interview in person. First, I sent her a MIO to know when I could meet with her. Her office was combined with 3 others, so it was a bit intimidating to set foot inside. It was spacious, but other teachers were there which made it feel a bit too much of an open conversation. She was caught up in a conversation with a coworker, so I wasn’t quite sure how to begin. When she was ready, I started by presenting myself and explaining that I was doing the interview for an English class. I also mentioned that my sister was one of her students to maybe give a sense of familiarity maybe… The interview did flow like a conversation, but it was more one sided. I did a lot of the talking and maybe too much of it. When I would finally ask her the question, it would be similar to what I have already found in my research. I think maybe I was a bit nervous or that my questions were not have been specific enough…

e. She looked like a strong person who carried herself well simply by the posture she held. She sat straight and had a firm handshake when I came in. At first, she looked a bit like a serious person, but she turned out to be actually friendlier than what she seemed. She had this very formal way of talking and I liked it because she said words that I didn’t think of myself. She would say things like “unwillingness or aligning ourselves to what we know”.  It was just lovely to hear because compared to my dull way of expressing, her words simply flowed. It was like her vocabulary was well researched.  Also, she expressed herself in a factual way. She referred a lot to research or mentioning if she read it somewhere or hasn’t. She wasn’t the type to just assume things which made her a good source.

f. Q: In your words, what is the bystander effect?

A: It’s the unwillingness of an individual to get involved in a [emergent situation]

Q: Do you have any advice on how to prevent bystander effect?

A: There is a fairly simple one. If you are the person in need of help, you need to point at a specific person and say “hey you in the dark shirt with the pony tail, call 911”. Then, they will be no ambiguity on who should take responsibility.

Q:  Does being more self-conscious actually make us more proactive because we care about what others will think?

A: Not really…we align ourselves to the situations we best understand. For example, I’ve known what it’s like to be going in the metro with a stroller and worrying about all the bags…However, a 20-year-old man cannot [relate] to that. (She was referring to an example I gave about a woman getting her bag stuck in the doors of the metro with her kid in stroller and no one helped).

g. I really didn’t discover anything new but this interview confirmed all my research to be accurate… I did find one thing very interesting though. When I asked her if different cultures (collective vs individualism) have an influence on how we help others. We would think in China they are more likely to be help but it is ironic because the bystander effect happened there a well. She said it was actually because of physical contact or like public affection were taboo there. So, these actually have effect on how we are more likely to be in contact with strangers and willing to touch others to help. Now, they are retraining them into actually having more physical contact with kids, etc.