Assignment #4 – Helping

Instructions: Write down a story about a time when you faced an emergency in which you

could have (or should have) provided help to another person. Did you help in this situation?

Why or why not? As you complete this assignment, talk about it in terms of the Five Steps of

helping that we discussed in class. First, write down a description of the emergency, and then

talk about each of the five steps and whether you successfully completed the step or not!

Copy and paste the assignment into the assignment submission box when you finish. As

always, you can answer each part of the worksheet (my preference) or write it in paragraph


1). The emergency (5 points):

2). Step One: noticing (6 points):

3). Step Two: interpret (6 points)

4). Step Three: responsibility (6 points)

5). Step Four: decide if you have the skills (6 points)

6). Step Five: final decision (6 points)

Additional comments (optional)

My grading rubric is on the next page

Grading Rubric (Applies to each of the 6 questions above)

Poor (0% of points) Fair (50% of points) Good (100% of points)

Content/Idea Development

Up to 4 points each question

(up to 3 points for

question 6)

– No key elements are present

– No understanding of material

– No analysis of content

– Some key elements are present

– Little understanding of material

– Little analysis of content

– All key elements are present

– Content is accurate – Clear understanding of

material – Strong analysis of



Up to 1 point

– Lots of grammar or spelling mistakes

– Few or no grammar or spelling mistakes


Up to 1 point

– Did not follow directions – Followed all of the


A good “Example” paper from a prior student is on the next page

Helping Assignment (Assignment #4) – An good example from a prior student

1). The emergency: (5 points)

A few years ago as I preparing myself for a philosophy exam, I encountered a traumatic

emergency in which I was later informed that a person lost his/her life since he/she failed to

put on his/her seatbelt. Typically, when I am preparing for an exam, I found it more effective

to study in an isolated area, such as the hallways at MDC-Wolfson campus. As I was

attempting to memorize key points of Chapter 5, I allowed my eyes to wonder looking at the

ambiance around me. And I was looking outside of the over-sized window’s, I watched as a

Jitney bus (very frequent bus system in the Downtown area) collided with a hotel bus. The

impact and the force of both buses were immensely strong that both buses overturned

multiple times leaving passengers upside down. And with each turn, each bus compressed

inward leaving a smaller surface area for each passenger.

2). Step One: noticing (6 points):

I was neither rushed nor in a group environment, but instead I had arrived to my classroom 2

hours before the corresponding time of arrival and decided to sit in an isolated hallway to

maximize studying time. Similar to the finding reported by Darley and Batson as well as

Latane and Darley, I noticed the emergency by having a significant amount of time and since

I was isolated I was able to notice the emergency and report my finding immediately,


3). Step Two: interpret (6 points)

As this unfortunate event continued to unfold, I can recall hearing people as well children

crying out for help, looking at the condition of both buses, attempting to understand for a

small moment the reasoning behind both bus drivers traveling at significant speeds, and

trying to understand which bus driver disregarded the red light signal. And in this very

moment as my mind was spiraling with excessive questions and attempting to register this

very unfortunate event, I realized that pluralistic ignorance and the concept of informational

social influence, played a key role in the inability of people not acting (momentarily the case

with me) and ultimately, not rending help.

4). Step Three: responsibility (6 points)

As more individuals approached this unforeseen event, I realized that no one was rending

help and to some degree I understand the reasoning behind their inability to help. While

more individuals became aware of the event, the less likely these individuals rendered help

(bystander effect). But after a while, I realized that despite the notion that I lacked a license

to medically render assistance (I was neither a nurse, doctor, or EMT), I was responsible to

get help by calling 911, reporting the event, and pleading to the first responder to send

ambulances immediately to the scene.

5). Step Four: decide if you have the skills (6 points)

After very quickly weighing the positive and negative consequences of helping, I realized

that I needed to do what is right and help these individuals. While I had the knowledge that

individuals in trauma cannot be moved since they may risk a bigger injury, I can help calm

them down by telling them it was going to be alright and that help is on its way. While I

lacked the skills to render medical assistance, I did possess the skills to calm these

individuals, call for immediate help (911), and stay with them until the ambulance(s) arrived.

6). Step Five: final decision (6 points)

My final decision was to remain at the scene, help calm these individuals, call for immediate

assistance, and ultimately help them to the best of my ability. Risking the fact that I missed

my exam and may encounter the fact that my professor would not understand my absence, I

knew that I needed to render help and in doing so made the correct choice in my perspective.

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