Causal Argument – Adam Tutolo

Not my Responsibility

In a case of diffusion of responsibility a victim is being left helpless while responsibility is diffused among a crowd. For there to be a victim there has to an occurrence of a cause-and-effect situation.  When this phenomenon happens it’s because a person or more commonly a group of people fail to act in a situation. The failure of action is spread throughout the group causing a mass non reaction to a potential dangerous situation for a victim. The process of diffusion of responsibility happens step by step and with the completion of each step the less likely someone is to react.

The steps to helping someone in a situation go as followed:

1).notice an emergency 2) interpret event as an emergency 3) take responsibility 4) decide to help, 5) provide help. This method would be the expecting steps you would take in an emergency. However, when diffusion of responsibility occurs the first two steps are indeed noticed, but on the third step your mind will see that your help is need but will diffuse the responsibility on to someone else. So when someone needs help the five step process to helping someone becomes blurry at the third step and in many cases help is not granted. There are factors that contribute to you not lending assistance. Some of these factors include your mood, age, morals, pressure and confidence. All of these factors weigh against your conscience and cause you not to help, which in effect the victim is left unaided.

Another reason why people fail to help in these situations is because people often look to others for guidance in ambiguous situations. A person will think a cop will help or someone stronger. The fact is everyone is thinking that and this causing the delay and the responsibility to be diffused. Most people want to stay in the background in life and not cause to much attention to themselves. When someone is in trouble this trait comes out in people and they stay in the shadows. We all have experienced that awkward moment where we are asked to admit something, but we look to others around us before raising our hand or admitting something. The same goes when diffusion of responsibility occurs. When an individual is alone, they are responsible for their actions and act accordingly. However, in a group individuals will look to others for guidance. This happens especially in an intense situation or an emergency. This reaction will cause delay, and in many cases this is why bystanders are so late in helping a victim in need. In some cases this can even cause bystanders to assume that nothing needs to be done at all.

So overall, delay causes diffusion of responsibility situations to occur. In most cases the delay is caused by assuming. For instance, people can assume a call has already been made to the police in an emergency. Or people will just flat out assume that someone else will help. Assuming anything is healthy it is better to be sure.  In a large group people will look to others to assist before they do because of lack of confidence in many cases. The larger the group the more time will be taken up before help is granted. All these factors cause the phenomenon of Diffusion of Responsibility and the effect is a victim will not receive help when it is needed.

Works cited

http://madon.public.iastate.edu/socialpsychology280/Studentslides/pdf/9perpage/18helpingpart2student9.pdf

“Bystander Effect and Diffusion of Responsibility.” Heroic Imagination Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2013.

“Bystander Effect – What is the Bystander Effect.” About.com Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2013.

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5 Responses to Causal Argument – Adam Tutolo

  1. adamtwths says:

    Professor could you please give me some feedback on this essay, thanks.

  2. davidbdale says:

    Hey, Adam!

    P1. Why is Diffusion capitalized?
    I really like a bold, brief opener, Adam. This one shows great promise. But I get quickly lost. Do you mean somebody first has to be a victim (or an accident, of a crime, of a fraud) for diffusion of responsibility to occur? Or do you mean that bystanders create a victim by failing to help someone, in which case, for example, the man and his family are first the victims of a traffic accident, then victims of neglect when those who could help fail to do so?

    Here’s the thing in a nutshell: You throw us a lot of language

    • diffusion
    • responsibility
    • cause-and-effect
    • phenomenon
    • failure of action
    • mass nonreaction
    • diffusion of responsibility
    • the completion of each step

    But I can’t visualize a single part of it. Whereas:
    When a man on a motorcycle is hit by a truck, we call him the victim of an accident, even if he was riding recklessly. We sympathize with his situation (though the truck driver who had no choice but to hit him is probably the real victim) because he has been struck and now is a fellow human in need of help. But we don’t always rush to the aid of the man on the side of the road, despite our sympathy. And in failing to act, we victimize the victim a second time.

    P2. With an introduction that establishes a particular situation requiring intervention, you can help your readers visualize further the steps required to provide help or withhold it. 1) Notice the man bleeding alongside his ruined bike, 2) interpret his condition as one requiring emergency medical help, 3) take responsibility to either provide the care, or solicit it, 4) decide that calling for a doctor is the better choice, 5) place the call.

    P3. Who are we looking to for guidance to help the man on the shoulder?

    P4. Are we truly incapable of making the phone call? Or is something else at work here? Do we conclude that, because the situation is so obvious, clearly many others will already have placed that call?

    Grade recorded. If you elect to revise, drop a comment here to let me know.

  3. adamtwths says:

    Professor I revised this essay it will be in my portfolio

  4. adamtwths says:

    I would appreciate a re grade on it if possible
    thanks

  5. davidbdale says:

    I’ll be glad to do that for you, Adam.

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