Attitude change Analysis: save water before it’s too late!

My topic for the attitude change analysis paper is water conservation under the natural resources theme. I’m targeting children from the age of 4-7 because early childhood is a receptive period, so, as early as their social interaction with the environment is positive the greater possibility to have a long lasting positive attitude. As these early years are the ones in which an individual creates his/her values, norms, habits, attitudes and most importantly shaping the schemas.

I’m proposing an environmental educational program to be integrated in the schools’ curriculum. The program will have both practical and theoretical aspects. That is to say, children will have in class readings, videos, drawings, songs and writings that represent a theme for the month. Also,the program will also be based on experiential learning. As there will be some outdoor activities in a form of mini camps that simulates the experience of having a very limited water resource like being in a desert or having water cut. Students will work together to face the challenges and find ways to save the water they have.

This is my  video . http://youtu.be/K5TyqChN6Lw   It basically aims to trigger children’s emotions toward water. A moderate fear arousal that is convenient to their age. Understanding the social influence and the need to be in a group played a part in the video. As they fear rejection from their friends if there wasn’t water. Also, fear to lose one of the most important things to kids! Swimming pool. In the video, there’s guidance o how to save water.
cryin drop
Tap* there’s a typo in the picture.

This would be used as a sticker in the bathroom. It aims to trigger empathy as the children would see this drop suffering and it would help them visualize and imagine the consequences if they didn’t close the water tap. They will think of it as something alive.

superhero drop

This also will be a sticker. As the above it triggers empathy. But “be my super hero” would increase the intrinsic motivation in children because who doesn’t want to be a superhero?

This is a story that meant to trigger children’s emotions toward the importance of water. It elicits cognitive dissonance and it also gives a sense of interdependance between nature and humans. This is to encourage pro-environmental behavior by developing an eco-centric attitude. the moral of the story is to save water before it’s too late.

Another thing to mention is that there will be a tool that measures the amount of water saved by each child and they will keep records of their savings for each period.

Moreover, a game application would be designed of different levels that have missions to save water. There will be pop up messages that say facts about water in a fun way.

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When “different abilities” becomes “disabilities”

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Automatic thinking & prejudice

Last semester, I was working on a project with a school that is specialized in special needs’ education. I had a wonderful experience by getting exposed to such a pure world that’s full of faith and determination. The project’s objective was to change people’s schemas and construal toward kids with special needs. We wanted to change those looks that are full of pity; we wanted to tell people STOP DISCRIMINATING. Those kids have different needs than that of the others, consequently, they have different abilities that are nevertheless brilliant. Therefore, we wanted to show the world that those kids are capable of things that we are not. So why the pity look? Why the prejudice against them. Most of us think that we empathize with those kids and their families. And that we appreciate their different needs. In fact, most of us hold a modern racism and in reality people actually sympathize and not empathize. Moreover, they have some stereotypes that lead to prejudice against them. Unfortunately, one of the most prejudice behaviors that I’ve witnessed is that I saw mom’s trying to take their kids away from playing with other kids that have special needs as they want to “protect” their children from them. For me this is the rudest thing anyone could do. Children are socialized and primed to perceive the other kids with different needs as “out- group” this is a result of the institutional discrimination that is present in most of the schools in Egypt. Schools either have a special needs section that is usually full of corruption or they don’t even accept them. You don’t find classes that integrate special needs with other students. Therefore, according to the social learning theory, children learn this social behavior by observing their school teachers and others around them and imitate them. While the injunctive norms dictate that we should not discriminate those kids and that we should behave in appreciation for their different abilities. Yet, the descriptive norms don’t match those injunctive norms and people act differently toward those kids regardless of it being disapproved.  People’s automatic thinking makes them judge people for their disability before getting to know who they really are. They automatically make the discrimination and behave accordingly. This video portrays the fact that even if some people have different abilities they can still live like others. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StwSnjtMkxQ I believe that the extent of the support and respect that the people surrounding them show them and treat them as being alike without showing any kind of discrimination the more likely that the differences are eliminated. Or else self-fulfilling prophecy will take over and they won’t be able to see that they are capable of living like everyone else on this planet they will conform to the stereotype threat and will live their lives as different and isolated.

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There’s always a Potential to be Good and Bad!

For me the answer for the ongoing debate of whether we are good, bad, both or neither lies in one thing. I believe that people have the potentials to be good and to be bad; it all needs a stimulus that triggers the good in you or the bad in you. We are born with a box of “tools” that are ready to be used whenever they are needed. Yes they are people who are more likely to be aggressive than others. However, the greatest dilemma is when the same person acts aggressively in times and empathizes at other times. This is basically because, this person’s self-esteem will be threatened .Accordingly, he/she would need to increase his/her cognitive dissonance to accept the fact that he/she wasn’t able to empathize in that situation and what’s even worse he/she acted aggressively . Therefore, if the person chose the strategies of justifying the behavior or creating a new cognition, he/she will more likely to repeat his /her aggressive behavior. Moreover, another possibility would be running in the viscous circle of self-fulfilling prophecy. That is, people that were hurt by that person’s aggressive behavior might judge him/her for being an aggressive person in general because they don’t realize the power of the situation on that person. Consequently, they’ll construe schemas for that person as being aggressive and will treat him/her accordingly. Therefore, it will backfire, and that person might start believing that he/she is actually an aggressive person and in fact he/she would become aggressive.

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This person could be any of us. The Frustraton- Agression Theory relates to most of us especially in times like these, finals week. The amount of pressure that we are subjected to makes us feel so vulnerable. At these times we find ourselves less likely to help others, have a pro-social behavior. Unfortunately, we sometimes find ourselves not helping the closest of people who might be family or friend. That is to say, we might be even falsifying the concept of “kin selection.” Altruism barely exists in times like this. We are too concerned with the deadlines that we have to the extent that we might give an impression of being selfish. Simply because, you are always not available, you are in hurry and you are too consumed with what you to do. However, you’ll find an increasing trend of norm reciprocity, we sometimes stop to help our collegues that we find in trouble because w simply expect that this will increase the likelihood that they’ll help us back. Since we are somewhat in the same group “being AUC Students” we share the same environment and we tend to have empathy for each other as an ingroup members. I believe that our situation is well explained by the Urban Overload Hypothesis, we are too overwhelmed that we don’t even notice what we are missing out, we avoid any distractions cause we simply “have enough.”

The fact that I’m using my controlled thinking with some introspection I believe that it ill make a difference in the future as I’ll be aware of the stimulus and my behavior will make me be able to control my behavior in the future.

 

Mean Girls!!

Mean girls is one of the most popular teenage movies. A lot of the social psychology concepts are portrayed in this movie; social influence, peer pressure and conformity at it’s best.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fi6HQk69hRs
Cady the movie hereon moved to a school in the U.S. in high school after she has been homeschooled her whole life. The power of situation was so strong that it influenced Cady’s behavior. Cady was suddenly put into a context that had a high degree of social influence. The groups in the school was very diversified in nature. However, there was that one group “the plastics” that almost everyone was looking up to them. They were the most popular, the pretties and the richest girls in the school. They were the meanest girls as well. Interestingly, although cady had the choice of who to be friends with. And obviously being part of the “mean girls” doesn’t match Cady’s norms. Yet,She became a member of the group.

The need to fit in , and belong was stronger than anything else. Consequently , cady had to conform to every aspect that the plastics used to do. What to wear, the attitude, hair styles, the language, and the music to listen. I. The case of cady, normative social influence is what actually motivated her to conform. Cady had to conform to the group “the plastics” social norms in order to remain a member of the group and to continue to gain advantages of group membership. The plastics had explicit rules for acceptable behaviors, values and attitudes for example, there were rules of what color to wear in which days, which days to wear your hair and you are not allowed to wear sweat pants for two days in a week. <a href=”http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=akbCmxb_w8s Continue reading Mean Girls!!