You are walking down the street and someone in front of you discards some trash on the sidewalk.

Vous marchez dans la rue et quelqu'un devant vous jette un papier gras sur le trottoir.

become upset but do not confront them, if possble- pick up the trash.

I continue walking

I might pick it up, but I probably wouldn't say anything.

I pick it up and throw it away and ask myself how people have no respect for the environment they live in.

I would not do anything about it and keep walking.

I would pick it up and throw it away.

I would pick it up and throw it away.

I would pick it up if it wasn't something too disgusting, otherwise I would feel sorry that the person had no respect for his surroundings.

I would pick up the trash and put it in a trash can.

I would tap them on the shoulder and point in the direction of a trash can.

I would tell the person that there were reasons why trashcans were located at every corner.

i would think they were uncivilized but probably wouldnt say anything

I would walk right by it.

If I were in a rush and the trash were not disgusting, I would pick it up and throw it away.

If I'm in my responsible citizen mood, I would probably go pick it up and throw it away (given that it's not too gross), but most probably I would just leave it wherever it is.

If it is a wrapper of some sort, I would pick it up and throw it away. I would also start to worry about the future of the environment.

If it were a small amount I would pick it up, but if it was a large amount I would ignore it.

Pick it up and throw it away.

Pick up the trash and throw it away, ignoring the person

Think: This person should know better. Might pick it up if the trash didn't look to nasty.

"il est mal élevé".

ça me déplait mais je ne dis rien.

Ca m'énerve, mais je ne dis rien


je dis à voix haute : "c'est propre ça!" (sauf si c'est un groupe menaçant)

je jette le papier à la poubelle

je le ramasse et le mets à la poubelle en essayant d'être vu par lui.

Je me dis que ça doit être un sacré tocard et qu'il ne respecte pas l'environnement, donc qu'il ne pense qu'à lui. Egoïste.

je ne dis rien

je ne dis rien

je ne fais rien

je pars.

je trouve ça dégoûtant, mais je ne le ramasse pas (je dis à la personne qu'elle a perdu quelque chose ?!)

Je vais lui faire ramasser!

Je vais mettre le papier dans la poubelle.

Là par contre je ne réagirais pas, même si moi je ne le fais pas.

malheureusement je crois que je ne ferais rien

rien il est égoïste et tout ce que je pourrais dire ne changera rien et ramasser le papier à sa place le conforterait dans son individualisme


Bonjour à tous.

J'ai comparé les réactions des étudiants X/MIT à la situation "
Vous marchez dans la rue et quelqu'un devant vous jette un papier gras
sur le trottoir. " La différence est assez flagrante mais il est
possible qu'elle soit en partie dûe au fait que "some trash" laisse la
possibilité de s'imaginer des choses bien plus régugnantes qu'un papier
gras …

Des deux cotés de l'Atlantique, la confrontation avec le
pollueur est assez peu recherchée : seuls 2 X et 2 étudiants du MIT
l'évoquent. Mais en revanche, l'énorme différence est que 13 étudiants
du MIT déclarent qu'ils ramasseraient le détritus par terre (seulement
4 étudiants passent leur chemin) ; tandis qu'à l'X les proportions sont
inversées : 3 étudiants seulement jettent le papier à la poubelle
contre 13 qui ne font rien … (Parmi ces 13, certains se sentent un peu
coupable tout de même, comme l'indiquent certaines justifications).

J'avoue que les réponses américaines me surprennent : il est
extrêmement rare de voir en France quelqu'un ramasser spontanément les
déchets d'un autre. Comment peut-on expliquer cette différence ?
Pensez-vous que vous avez un fort esprit civique ? Ou que vous vous
sentez particulièrement concernés par l'environnement ?

Hello Guillaume,

To answer your questions, I think that maybe some of us MIT
students taking French are more concerned with the environment.
However, in general, I don't believe the majority of the students here
are very concerned with pollution or protecting the planet which is
definitely very sad. There are some recyling projects on campus such as
a recycling competition for the dormitories but there is no major
feeling about caring for the environment. MIT students are more
concerned about their research and their work than pretty much anything

Compared to the rest of the United States, I don't believe
that Americans as a group are that much more concerned about the
environment (even though they should be because the recent natural
disasters are a scary sign of what might be happening). However, there
are other universities (probably liberal arts schools) where students
are much more motivated to protect the environment and to really care
about recycling and such.

As far as a civical spirit goes, MIT students would definitely
do something small as pick up a piece of trash or point someone to the
trash can, but there are other aspects in which I believe we are
definitely lacking. MIT is so concerned about science and technology
that many students are rarely involved or know of many social and
political problems from the United States and abroad. As far as the
undergrads (premiere cycle) go, we seem to be so consumed in our own
little MIT world that it is very hard to see outside of it. I remember
my freshman year (premiere annee) when there was a controversy in Iraq
because US soldiers were mistreating Iraqui detainees... I did not find
out about this until 3 or so months after it had happened. The problem
was already in Congress when I realized what had happened. I honestly
think that I lot of people here can I identify with me.

How about at L'Ecole? Do you believe that X's students care
about social and political issues? What do you do to keep yourself
aware about the world around you?

In response to Katia...I feel that the opposite is true.

I feel that (from the people that I know) MIT students, because
they are interested in science and technology, are aware of certain
political/social issues if only for the fact that science and
technology are inevitably tied to them. MIT also has a significant
proportion of students participating in community service activities.
We may not go on large campaigns to accomplish certain goals, but we
certainly help in our own way.

That we are in a bubble cannot be helped to a certain extent.
As students, our priority is to study and learn in hopes that we can
apply our knowledge in help society and be more quaified to respond to
political and social issues. While there may be a lot of students who
completely ignore what goes on outside MIT, there are also a lot of
students who do read the newspaper and watch the news. Levels of
informity differ, but I believe that we as a whole are not completely

I think MIT recycles pretty well compared to other places. I haven't
seen too many other schools or been inside many other buildings that
have so many recycling bins for both paper and plastic. Although
recently I have seen a few recycling bins on the street in my home
town, which is nice to see. Is there a lot of recycling in France or at

This situation actually reminds me of a more familiar
situation: right now I'm sitting in a computer cluster at MIT and there
is trash all over the place. It's like this every day. This makes it
seem quite surprising that such a high number of MIT students said they
would pick up the trash from the ground. Maybe it's just our class that
cares a lot about our environment. Or perhaps there are other reasons.

think recycling is more a personal can't stereotype
MIT students and say, yes, they are recyclers, or no, they are not. But
I was definitely surprised at how many MIT students said they would
pick up the little piece of trash and throw it away. And to second
Vladimir's comment, yeah, people don't always stick to their word,
because honestly have you ever seen a student sit there and clean up
everyone else's mess in the computer cluster? no.

Perhaps our responses were more idealistic...we'd like to
think that we would pick up the piece of trash to help the environment,
and maybe it depends on the situation; if you see the person in front
of you throw trash on the sidewalk, and youb were the only one to
witness it, you might feel more obliged to do "good" and throw it away.
on the other hand, the gross litter in the computer cluster has been
sitting there for who knows how long, so students decide, what the
heck, just let it sit there some more because i don't want to be the
one to touch it. there's no immediacy effect.

Do any of the French students see this happening on your
campus? Where litter that has already been sitting there never seems to
be discarded because everyone just diffuses responsibilty onto the next