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Piliavin et al. arranged a series of emergencies to be staged on express trains of the New York 8th Avenue subway. The line was used as trains A and D made no stops providing the experimenters 7.5 mins with a captive audience.
The experiment was done on weekdays from 11 am to 3 pm on the 15th of April all the way to 26th of June 1968. Which means the emergency was staged 103 times. There were four teams of psychologists students. And each team had a victim, a model and two observers.
Approximately 70 seconds into the journey the victim (in this case the drunk victim) would stagger forward and collapse, and would remain lying on the floor until he got help. The victim would always collapse in the Critical Area.
The victim could also be in an ill condition where the same as the drunk victim would collapse in the critical area, 70 seconds into the journey and wait for someone to help.
The team also had a Model which was always a male and would help the victim in different conditions. This is to see if it will encourage other people in the carriage to help too.
The four model conditions include the model helping 70 seconds after he collapsed from the critical area or helped after 150 seconds from the critical area. The other two conditions were also after 70 or 150 seconds from the adjacent area.
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