Problem Sensitivity Sample Question 1
Please use the information in the following passage to answer problem sensitivity sample
Officer Denver is patrolling a neighborhood around 3:30 a.m. when she notices a car that must be
traveling at least 25 miles per hour over the speed limit. She pulls the car over for a traffic stop. As she
steps out of the squad car, the driver of the car steps out of his vehicle and walks toward her with his
license and registration. Before Officer Denver can say a word, the driver apologizes for speeding and
explains that he had just received a call about an emergency at home. He shows Officer Denver his
driver’s license and says that he hopes that the situation can be taken care of quickly. The man seems
alert and agitated; his speech is clear, and he does not seem to have problems walking. Officer Denver
orders the man to go back inside his car. She adds that she will also need to see proof of insurance. The
man offers to go back to the car and get the proof of insurance for her. Officer Denver again orders the
man to return to his car. The man snaps, “Why can’t we just take care of this here?” He immediately
apologizes for losing his temper; however, Officer Denver must order him to return to his car for a third
time before he complies.
1. Based on the above information, what, if anything, is most likely to be the man’s problem?
- a. The man is just impatient to return home so that he can deal with a family emergency.
- b. The man has something in his car that he does not want Officer Denver to see.
- c. The man is under the influence of alcohol.
- d. The man is nervous because he has no insurance.
The correct answer to problem sensitivity sample question 1 is (b) “The man has something in his car that
he does not want Officer Denver to see” because this is the best answer based on the information
provided above. The man seems eager to take care of the matter outside and is reluctant to return to his
car; this may lead Officer Denver to conclude that he does not want her to look inside his car. Option (a)
would not be the best answer because if the man were so impatient to get home to deal with the
emergency as he claims, why would he prolong the traffic stop by insisting that he remain outside of the
car? Option (c) would not be the best answer because Officer Denver notes that the man is alert, and
she does not notice any symptoms of intoxication, such as slurred speech or impaired motor skills.
Option (d) also would not be the best answer because the man does not try to argue with Officer Denver
about his proof of insurance. He offers to retrieve his proof of insurance for her, just as long as she
conducts the traffic stop outside of his car.
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