KEN WONG CHUN THIM
MONDAY 4pm – 7pm group
Social Psychology [PSYC0103]
SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, BUILDING & DESIGN
Foundation of Natural Build Environment (FNBE)
Submission date: 12 May 2014
Date: Tuesday, 8th
Time: 10:00 PM
Self-fulfilling prophecy is the process of one becoming the prediction that one has about
themselves. When I feel unmotivated to do a task, I usually utter the phrase, “I am so lazy.”
The repeated use of this phrase has probably caused me to become a lazy person and thus
fulfilling the prophecy that I have set for myself.
Besides that, I have also been told that I am a shy person and don’t talk very much since I
was a young boy. Whether or not it is biological or psychological, I am quite sure I believed
those words and reinforced the idea in my head after hearing the same thing repeatedly
from different people. The schema became deeply rooted that even if someone were to tell
me that I am a confident and outgoing person, confirmation bias would kick in and filter it
out. Confirmation bias is the strengthening of the schema if the information is relevant and
the filtering of information if it is against the schema.
In my daily life, I have heard many sentences that go, “You’re fat”, “You’re inconsiderate”,
“You’re selfish” and etc. It would then be followed with, “You should be more…” While these
people are thinking of the welfare of the other person, I think that they are actually doing
more harm than good. They would keep pointing out the flaws of the other person and not
realize that the person reinforces the idea then becomes it even more thus fulfilling the
prophecy. In my opinion, if we want to help another person change their behavior to a
more beneficial one, we should use positive statements.
Date: Monday, 21st
Time: 7:47 PM
It’s Monday and I only have one class which is Social Psychology. In class, we’ve been given
a lecture on “Prosocial Behavior” which discusses why we choose to help people. Class
ended at 5:30PM and I decided to go home since it’s the only class that day. Unfortunately,
it was raining. I had no umbrella and my car was parked in the free parking area. I was
actually rushing home for dinner because there’ll be a traffic jam so I used my bag as a
cover from the rain. As I was walking towards the parking area, a girl approached me and
offered to share her umbrella with me. I politely said that it’s alright as my car was just
around the corner and isn’t far. Honestly speaking, I was pretty darn happy and delighted
that a girl offered to share her umbrella.
However, her next sentence was,
“But I’ll feel bad if I don’t share the umbrella with you.”
From today’s lecture, I have actually learnt about the Egoistic and Altruistic model. An
Egoistic model would mean the help is given for the benefit of one’s self and an Altruistic
model would be help is given without expecting anything in return. Now, which of these
models would fit the girl in that scenario?
It would obviously be an Egoistic model since she’s actually helping me in order to avoid
feeling bad for not sharing an umbrella with another person. She helps for the benefit of
her own hence it could be seen as an insincere gesture, at least for me.
That said, I can understand where she is coming from. If I were to switch positions with her,
I would have expected a thank you or something similar after lending a hand. In fact, I
actually contemplated offering her a ride to her car to return the favor but I didn’t since I
was in a rush and too shy. The “Cost-Benefit Model of Helping” plays its role here where I
felt it was too much effort to send her to her car and it doesn’t really benefit me other than
feeling like a kind person.
Being on the same topic, I would say an Egoistic model fits me very much as I always help
others for my own benefit. For an example, when I help others with things related to the
computer, I do it so I would seem like a reliable person in this area and it boosts my self-
In terms of Altruistic model, I don’t think I have ever helped anyone selflessly without
expecting anything in return. In fact, I believe helping someone with no benefits to gain
from it is very rare. It is because of the notion that people will most definitely feel good
after helping another person. It feels good to help so that is why they help in the first place.
The only possible way I think we can help someone without gaining anything is when we
truly care about the person we’re trying to help. When we truly care about someone, we do
not think about the gains from helping them but rather what benefit can they receive from
the help given.
Date: Friday, 25th
Time: 6:15 PM
From my observation, some students have a tendency to criticize the teacher whenever they
are given low marks or been scolded for a valid reason. The concept related here is self-
serving attribution where we make positive attributions for things that improves our self-
image. External attributions are made when a negative result is produced and internal
attributions are made when a positive result is achieved. It basically means we take credit
for our successes and blame others for our failures. I have seen cases where the student
disses the teacher for giving low marks even though the student knows that he or she
didn’t actually produce a good work and did it half-heartedly. When they receive a negative
outcome, they would blame the teacher for having high standards. On the flip side when
they receive a positive outcome, they would say it was due to their cleverness and hard
Being on the topic of attributions, correspondence bias is also something common that
people do. It is the tendency to make dispositional attributions for others’ behavior. In other
words, we often blame the person for their behavior and not the situation. This normally
occurs when we don’t have information to make a correct attribution. For an example, when
I see a homeless person on the streets, I would usually see them as a person who is lazy
and a parasite to society. Sometimes, I feel like they deserve to suffer on the streets because
they do not seem to do anything to fix their situation. This is probably the just-world
hypothesis kicking in where I believe they have received the misfortune they deserved and it
is only fair that people that work hard can live a good life. I would always question why
can’t they work and earn a living for themselves. However, I did not make a situational
attribution to take into account the situation he’s in like he is too weak to work and no one
wants to employ him.
Date: Friday, 9th
Time: 11:10 PM
I am sure everyone has stereotypes of different groups of people. Stereotype is the belief
that we have about a group of people whether it is positive or negative. An example would
be my aunt, she has this stereotype where people with dark skin are dangerous. This
stereotype formed as a result of the news often reporting dark skinned people committing
crimes. The availability heuristic can be seen occurring here as it is based on how likely it is
to happen based on how available the information is at hand. She then forms this prejudice
where she thinks dark skinned people are drug addicts and would rob for money. Prejudice
is when we see a group of people in a bad light and have a negative attitude towards them.
So every time she sees this group of people, she tend to avoid them and stay away from
them. Discrimination occurs when we act negatively towards those people. This can also be
called racism as it deals discrimination towards a specific racial group.
In Malaysia, there are traces of modern racism where there are indirect and hidden
emotions directed towards a specific racial group. An example would be the minority racial
group feels unfair of the status given to the majority thus having ill feelings towards the
majority racial group. The unequal status causes a disorder between the two groups. Gordon
Allport has proposed one of the four conditions to decrease prejudice which is to have
equal status between groups. I would say this can definitely help in resolving this issue in
Date: Saturday, 10th
Time: 8:37 PM
It was raining today and I remembered an incident that occurred when I was around 8 or 9
years. It was also a rainy day when my family and I went out for dinner. We parked outside
this restaurant and alighted the car. The distance wasn’t much so we decided we could just
run into the restaurant without umbrellas. And so I ran, blindly. I ran into a bar and slid
downwards. My head was ringing and eyes blurred by the tears. This was the day I learned
not to run in the rain. Since that event, I would avoid running and walk in the rain instead.
Even if it meant being drenched in the rain, I will still choose to walk.
The operant conditioning theory can be applied here as it mentions the use of
reinforcement or punishment can increase or decrease the likeliness of the behavior being
repeated. In my case, the pain I took from my fall would serve as the punishment and it
would inhibit my behavior of running in the rain as I will do it to avoid falling again. In
another context, my mother have used this theory in reinforcing my behavior of studying
hard for exams by giving me rewards if I were to get good results.
On the same topic, I have also realized I have experienced classical conditioning. Classical
conditioning is the pairing of two stimulus to produce the same response. An example
would be I listen to a particular song in the car every day when I first started going to
university. I was new to this environment so I felt uncomfortable and anxious. After a few
months, I have started to like going to university as a result of the mere exposure effect.
The mere exposure effect talks about how we like and feel comfortable after being
repeatedly exposed to an object. Now in the present even though I am comfortable, when I
listen to the same song, I would experience the same emotions I had when I went to class
for the first time.
Another example would be the time I had food poisoning from eating chocolates containing
coffee beans. I had to vomit a few times and the taste of the coffee beans would linger in
my mouth. Now, every time I drink coffee I will often get a headache and feel like vomiting.
The unconditioned stimulus of the taste of coffee beans and the unconditioned response of
vomiting has been conditioned.