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MVHS grad published at 18
Katie Billings wrote Why We Don’t Help for publication in the electronic version of the Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science.
REGION -- Dartmouth College first-year student Katie Billings has completed something that is essential to furthering science research and is often reserved for more experienced scientists.
She is a published author. In May, her article entitled “Why We Don’t Help” was published in the electronic version of the Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science.
The article explains the psychological phenomena termed the bystander effect. It is why people don’t stop to help others having difficulty.
Billings wrote, “According to a social psychological phenomenon known as the bystander effect, people do not intervene in emergencies because of a diffusion of responsibility. In fact, likelihood of help is inversely proportional to the number of bystanders. Knowing that others have seen an emergency leads us to believe that someone will provide assistance, resulting in the diminished responsibility we assume in an emergency situation.”
There are two ways to minimize the bystander effect.
According to the article, “The first is for the victim to direct his dialogue to a specific member of a crowd of people. Calling one person out helps to decrease the diffusion of responsibility. The second is for the victim to choose a person who is as similar to them as possible, in terms of gender, class and attire. People are more likely to help a person that they can identify as a member of a group to which they belong.”
So how did Billings become published?
As a science major, Billings said, “I was looking for an extra curricular activity that was in my field so I started going to the Undergraduate Journal of Science meetings.”
She continued, “First, you write to the chief editor and propose a topic. After you write the article, you meet with an upperclassman science major who is on the editorial board. Once he approves the article, it goes to the editor-in-chief for possible publication.”
“I chose the bystander effect because I’m a psychological brain sciences major,” Billings explained. “I took social psychology that semester, so I wanted to explore the topic in more depth.”
Billings is a member of the Mountain Valley High School Class of 2012. She is back in Rumford for the summer and is working at Olympia Sports. In addition to her job, she has an internship at Franklin Behavioral Services in Farmington. The internship includes job shadowing a psychiatrist.
The complete article may be found at http://dujs.dartmouth.edu/questions/why-dont-we-help.