Earlier this month, YouTube user NorniTube uploaded a controversial video of a social experiment which looked at how a person’s appearance can affect the responses they get from the general public. One two different days, he pretended to collapse on a Paris street to see if anyone would come to his aid, on one occasion wearing shabby clothes, on the other dressed in a smart suit. (We’ll leave you to watch the video to find out how it went!)
After watching NorniTube’s video, YouTuber Hei Nan decided to test the reactions of his fellow Taiwanese citizens by doing a similar experiment on the streets of his city. Were the Taiwanese more or less likely to help out that the Parisians in NorniTube’s video? Find out after the jump!
▼ Would you help a stranger on the street?
NorniTube’s video, which has been viewed more than six million times on YouTube, tested the reactions of the French population towards a shabbily dressed man and a man in a suit (both are played by NorniTube). He pretended to collapse in the exact same manner on the same street, but it seems like the passing Parisians would only stop to help a well-dressed stranger in distress. When he was dressed in untidy clothing, streams of people ignored him, even when he called for help.
▼ However, when he was dressed in a suit, people came to his aid in a matter of seconds.
The video sparked a debate, with some viewers commenting that they couldn’t believe how cold the passers-by were. Others reasoned that it is not uncommon to see homeless or drunk people lying on the streets of Paris, which is why people sometimes choose to ignore them to avoid unnecessary trouble.
Inspired by this video, Hei Nan decided to test the citizens of Taiwan. Believing that the people of Taiwan would definitely lend a hand, even to someone who isn’t dressed to the nines, Hei Nan decided to wear only an undershirt and jeans for the experiment.
True to his prediction, a couple of passers-by approached shortly after he “collapsed” from a feigned heart problem. When he told them that he had medication in his pocket, the kind ladies even looked for his medicine.
Hei Nan may have achieved his goal of showing that Taiwanese are generally warm and caring people, but some skeptical netizens are doubting the authenticity of his video, believing that it was a staged attempt. However, there are also commenters who gave Hei Nan the benefit of the doubt, saying that the Taiwanese achieved a flawless victory in this society showdown.
▼ Caring strangers helping Hei Nan with his medication.
How do you think the people in your country would react in such a situation? How would you react to a complete stranger in need of help?
It’s probably not the best thing to prejudge a person by looking at the clothes they wear, but societal norms are different in every country and it’s sometimes hard to tell if a person is truly in need of help as there are con men out there who put on a show to swindle a quick buck. Of course, it would be a wonderful deed to lend a helping hand, but be sure to protect yourself too, Rocketeers!