Assignment: Attributions regarding the Plight of Others Essay

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Assignment: Attributions regarding the Plight of Others Essay

Assignment: Attributions regarding the Plight of Others Essay

The attributions of people regarding the causes of other people’s plight may either influence them to help or not help. For instance, during the 9/11 suicide bombing, some people working at the World Trade Center fled for safety while others remained behind to help the injured people (Jordan et al., 2018). Some of those trying to help died, implying that they actions were altruistic. Those who helped did so because they knew that the victims did not choose to find themselves in their situation. Attribution regarding the causes of particular behaviors determines whether people will provide help to others.

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Most of the time, people find themselves not willing to help others when they do not understand the situational factors that result in a certain behavior (Böhm & Pfister, 2015). This is known as the bystander effect (Branscombe & Baron, 2016). For instance, if a man comes home and his

Assignment Attributions regarding the Plight of Others Essay

Assignment Attributions regarding the Plight of Others Essay

wife is elated, a negative remark from the man may make the neighbors perceive him as being hateful. In such a case, the neighbors judge the man based on his behavior but not the factors that make him too harsh to his wife. If the neighbors learn that the man has been fired from his job, they would not judge him harshly and would be willing to help even if he yelled to the wife.

Situationism is the argument that behavior is shaped by the immediate factors in the environment while dispositionism is the view that factors within the individual influence behavior (Field & Hineline, 2008). Most of the time, people tend to apply dispositionism. They associate behavior with someone’s traits or character. They do not consider factors that might influence someone to behave in a particular way. Thus, people are often influenced by fundamental attribution error, which makes them link behavior to someone’s disposition (Brosch, Schiller, Mojdehbakhsh, Uleman & Phelps, 2013); (Branscombe & Baron, 2016). In such a case, people are not willing to help. This is not a typical response justified within the Christian framework. The Bible advises Christians to help people in difficult situations without judging the cause of their plight. God promises eternal rewards to those willing to help.   

How do people’s attributions regarding the causes of another person’s plight influence their willingness to help that person? Is this “typical response” justified within a Christian framework? Why or why not?

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