Case Study

Learning Goal: I’m working on a psychology writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

Case Study 5

This case study assignment requires that you apply the ideas presented in Chapter 12 of the textbook. Read the case study carefully and answer the questions in detail. If you have any questions regarding this assignment, please ask.

Driven to Distraction

Jared was driving to an important business meeting across town. Traffic was heavy at this time of the day, and he feared he might be late for the meeting. He was so preoccupied with thoughts about the meeting that he almost didn’t notice the stalled car next to the curb about a block ahead. But as he stopped at a red light, Jared observed an attractive young woman standing next to the red corvette. Other drivers passed by the car without stopping. Jared thought to himself, “maybe she’s just parking her car, and doesn’t need help.” At that same moment, the woman walked to the front of the car and raised the hood. It appeared that there was indeed something wrong with her vehicle. Despite Jared’s concerns about being late, the several years he spent in the Army motor pool made him confident that he could help the woman. Jared slowly eased his car over, and pulled up behind the corvette. As he stepped from the car, the woman greeted him with a broad smile.

  1. Answer:
    1. What is the first step in Latane and Darley’s five-step model of helping in an emergency? Explain what happens at this step and how a person may decide to help or not to help at this step.
    2. Jared decided to stop and help, but there are factors in this situation that may have led other motorists to not stop. Discuss the factors that can affect a person’s decision to help in this first step. Which of these factors are present in the current case? Explain your answer.
  2. Answer:
    1. What is the second step in Latane and Darley’s model? Explain what happens at this step and how a person may decide to help or not at this step.
    2. What is pluralistic ignorance? Many motorists drove past the car without stopping. How might seeing these other motorists driving past influence other drivers’ decision at this step? Relate this to the concept of pluralistic ignorance.
    3. Was it clear from the beginning that the woman in the Corvette needed help? Discuss how ambiguity operated this situation and how it may have related to Jared’s initial hesitation.
  3. Answer:
    1. What is the third step in the model? Explain what happens at this step and how a person may decide to help or not at this step. Explain diffusion of responsibility. Could the explain why no other motorists stopped? How so?
    2. Give an example of a factor or variable that may have led to Jared’s decision to stop. That is, discuss a factor that weakens the effects diffusion of responsibility.
  4. Answer:
    1. What are the fourth and fifth steps in the model? Explain what happens at this step and how a person may decide to help or not at this step.
    2. More specifically, consider and discuss how Jared’s perception of his own competence affects his decision at this step.
    3. Also give an example of a potential cost Jared may have paid by helping and a potential reward Jared may receive by helping in this situation.
  5. Read the section in the text under the heading – Interpersonal Influences: Whom Do People Help on pages 376-381.
    1. Discuss the effects of physical attractiveness on helping. How might physical attractive have influenced what occurred in this case?
    2. Summarize the research findings about the relationship between gender and helping. Did the gender of the helper and the recipient of the help fit the profile of typical research findings? Explain your answer.
    3. Think of an example of a situation in which you think a woman would be more likely to provide help than a man. Explain why you think a woman would be more likely to help in the situation.
  6. Do you think that Jared’s stopping to help was motivated out of altruism or egoism?
    1. Explain what both types of motivation are.
    2. What in this situation supports the notion that Jared helped out of altruism?
    3. What in this situation supports the notion that Jared helped out of egoism?
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