“I want to Go to a Public School”

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“I want to go to a public school,” said the poor Hani. This was the sentence, after which all of his his life has drastically changed, and I am sure that at a certain point Hani regretted his saying and used his counterfactual reasoning, imagining what would happen if he didn’t say it. Hani was an ordinary christian boy, from the upper middle class. He was happy, living with his parents until his father died. From this incident, his life changed; his mother started to bear the whole burden, especially, after they had discovered that the father’s inheritance was only debts, and Hani’s uncles refused to pay or help. Hani then informed his mother that he wanted to go to a public school to reduce the financial burden on his mother.

When Hani felt that his school’s fees are  heavy burden on his mother, he used his controlled thinking to think of an alternative, and he came up with the idea of going to a public school. However his schema of public school was almost empty. He knows very little, so he started to access (accessibility) and watch films about public schools. These films primed (priming) some thoughts or metaphors for Hani, which would finally help him in using the judgmental heuristics while using his automatic thinking in his daily life in the public school. According to self-awareness theory, Because Hani focused on himself and only how he could offer help, he evaluated and compared his decision to his internal standards and values, and didn’t recognize or think of the context much.

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In the public school, Hani faced a lot of hardships and obstacle to socialize, but the most important hardship was that he feared to let anyone know that he was christian, even his best friend. This movie opens a banned door in the Egyptian cinema, which is that of religion. I think that Hani’s fear was more or less formed unconsciously, and also unconsciously activated. The context he was put in affected his attitude and behavior drastically. Therefore, we need to use the holistic thinking style, in which people focus on the overall context, particularly the ways in which objects relate to each other. Through introspection and causal theories, Hani’s attitude matches the reasons that existed in the context, leading to reasons-generated attitude change.

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One incident happened was when Hani entered a competition for singing the  best religious song. Hani started to read the Quran and sang a beautiful Islamic song in the competition; as a result he won. This was an extreme case for trying to socialize and getting the attention. It surpassed the idea that he was only hiding his religion  because he did not want to get abused. This is an example of overjustification effect in which he focused on the extrinsic reasons for his behavior and underestimated his intrinsic reasons (getting the attention). Especially, that it wasn’t his first trial. Earlier he presented a thoughtful scientific project. Even after wining the competition, he started to think for the students “Mahragan” music (popular Egyptian songs) and dance with them although this kind of music was totally fifferent from him, and he never listened to them before, but he did so to make the students love him and socialize with them. Therefore this was his will and desire. This is typical according to the social comparison theory also, in which people tend to automatically adopt the attitudes of those they like and want to interact with. However this reflects his growth mindset:  the idea that his abilities are malleable qualities and could grow and cultivate. All in all if I am to decide what caused Hani’s behavior, I will say it was caused by both internal and external attribution.

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