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Walking While Texting: Should There Be A Law - Essay Example

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It may indeed be the case that walking while texting puts individuals (primarily the individual performing the act) in certain kinds of danger, but the dangers posed by walking while texting are not consistent across contexts. For instance, walking through a long, empty hallway…
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Walking While Texting: Should There Be A Law
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Download file to see previous pages ralized laws against texting while walking do not take into account the situational factors at play in making a set of circumstances particularly risky. Outright bans on ownership of handguns likewise do not take into account whether the person owning the gun is potentially dangerous or not. The same situation applies in the proposal of the law against texting while walking.
Nevertheless, I believe McManus’ blog posting and the critical response received by readers is due to something psychologically more fundamental: the need to ascribe blame. Psychologists call the tendency to over-value dispositional explanations of others’ behaviors the “fundamental attribution error.” “The girl was just plain dumb,” as McManus quotes in her article, is an example of a dispositional attribution that helps resolve the question of why something happened.
The idea that the girl was simply stupid is an argument in itself against a law banning texting while walking because it attributes the blame to the girl’s own characteristics. However, if we tend to think that all teenagers are stupid (as McManus seems to suggest by treating this as a “case-study of responsibility in America), then we begin to blame a perceived characteristic of society itself, which only laws can fix. But again, the tendency to generalize our feelings and to attribute accidents to personal characteristics leads us astray in thinking a law is necessary or even ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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