ELM and attitude change

HIJRAH is a big word in the Islamic context. The word was first used to describe the movement of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mekah to Madinah. Hereby, marking the 1st day of the Islamic calendar. Nowadays it is commonly associated with a lifestyle change. Often towards a more Islamic appearance and way of living as seen in our local Malaysian celebrities.

Perhaps the earliest influence of this concept, as far as I could remember were personalities like Wardina Safiyyah, Misz Nina and Irma Hasmie. In fact, the external change that the public saw in them had been so consistent up till now. In between, other celebrities begin to emerge with their Hijrah story, each with their own stories of why they choose to cover up or become more affiliated to the Islamic teaching. Of course, there were few who had challenges along their Hijrah journey and reverted back to their old lifestyle. The latter is a sensitive issue which I personally think is best left between these individuals and The Creator. As outsiders, we don’t really know what they need to face or go through in the local entertainment industry.

Photo by Jose Aragones on Pexels.com

It begs the question.

How do we achieve Long-lasting Attitude Change?

Well, it seems that in psychology we have a reason for that and I will draw your attention to one theory in particular. The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) of persuasion.

ELM is fairly new in the world of psychology as it was proposed in 1986 by Petty and Cacioppo. The model explains that there are 2 ways in how persuasive communication can cause attitude change : centrally, where people are motivated and pay attention to the arguments, and peripherally, when people are influenced more by surface characteristics. It is evident in studies that those who had attitude shifts are most likely to maintain it if it was based on a strong argument as opposed to those who change because of a peripheral cue.

A lady who chooses to wear a modest outfit including a hijab will most likely continue to do so despite resistance if they understood the Islamic argument behind it. A lady who chooses to don a hijab because they looked prettier in it or just wanting to keep up with the trends are most likely not going to be consistent with it. This is thus an important concept of persuasive communication everyone could use in their daily lives especially when you intend to change a mindset that further initiates a change in behaviour. BECAUSE that link between intention and behavioural change is another set of theories.

First things first is to get the individuals attention to your argument. If they are motivated enough, they would be keen to listen to it and instigate the process of long-lasting attitude change. This usually requires a lot of personal effort on the individuals part. Otherwise, they might just make that temporary shift just because they don’t really care and had thought you simply looked pretty when talking about it.

Prejudice. George Floyd

George Floyd’s death went viral. He died during an arrest on the allegation of distributing counterfeit money. His slow, agonizing death was caught on video and the clip blast worldwide. The video was captured by a helpless teenager who wanted to help but worry of consequences imposed by authorities.

The BlackLivesMatter awareness/ movement has been around for years . The African American community are openly subjected to cognitive bias ( as in the case of Amy Cooper) which, if not investigated properly could wrongly lead to police brutality. A life could be taken away in such misunderstanding.

In my 1st semester, we had a module on Social Psychology and one of the topics discussed Prejudice.


Prejudice is a cognitive framework and is often portrayed as a negative attitude directed to a particular group or individual. It is a form a belief conceived from various sources such as from socialization, conforming behaviors, direct inter group conflict and social categorization. The framework is able to stay in a loop as it saves mental effort to formulate a new one or if it boosts ones own self image.

Prejudice tends to be mistaken as discrimination. While both brings on a negative connotation to it, discrimination is more towards a form of negative BEHAVIOUR towards the intended group or individual. Apartheid and WW2 are glaring examples of this.

Someone may not be able to see a person with PREJUDICE unless the person exhibits it in a form of behaviour that supports it. That is when DISCRIMINATION jumps on board.

Prejudice will continue to exist. It is inevitable. It’s like Malays being associated as being lazy and corrupted no matter how. Or Asians being perceived as 3rd world citizens despite hailing from a very developed land called Singapore. There will always be supporting factors that seem to give weight to these pre-existing frameworks making it difficult to go away.

In Mr Floyds case, because of his skin colour – he was associated with a crime and was already presumed guilty before proper questioning.

R.I.P George Floyd.

Slow Study Tempo in May

Evidently, a very empty month in May. I have signed up for my subjects but classes have yet to be open. I just wish for at least the module handbooks to be available. I am so restless at the thought of being in the dark with regards of what I need to know for each subject.

In the meantime, at work – it has been proposed that Klinik Kesihatan (KK) will be operated based on the shift system. Currently, it is still in an evaluation and survey phase to see if we could cope seeing the same amount of patients before MCO with the current restrictions. Namely factors like social distancing and such. A blogger, DianaIshak coined a term ‘syarat puteri gunung ledang’ to describe a situation where a person lays out the most ridiculous rules and request with the hope of deterring the opposite party’s intentions. I think that term fits our circumstances too. Either way, shifts will start eventually in KK, it is only a matter of time for it to be initiated fully. So, be open and prepared for the possibility. I think most of us are thinking about child care.

Exam dates update

With the COVID-19 pandemic happening, it has in a way disrupted the momentum of my studies. Most of my studying is already online that I couldn’t help wondering how much more online can we get to ensure a continuation in our education. Turns out OUM is an expert on this.

We could get access to most study materials online via their portal MyInspire and also the library. Although I miss touching physical books, I think I have to accept that 21st-century learning habits are mostly online. We are talking about Google Classrooms, QR scan codes to get access to notes, Web calls, etc.


Silver Ipad on Books
Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/books-classroom-college-desk-289738/


When OUM announced that the semester exams will be carried out online, I was a bit skeptical. How is that going to happen? Will it be something like a Zoom broadcast where you have an invigilator on-screen observing everyone in their little screens answering the paper? How would you know if someone is cheating?

Recently, OUM cleared the air by elaborating that the exams will be answered as per how we do our assignments. The questions would be released by 1am on Day 1 and students will have time to complete the paper by Day 2 at 8am. The answers are to be typed in a Word document in a size 12 Times New Roman font.

From my perspective as someone who has a job and a family to attend to, the best time for me to complete my exam would be on Day 1 sometime at night – once the kids (and husband) are asleep. At least, I can focus.

Having realized how different learning is nowadays  – I have decided to add on a gadget on my wishlist. A Kindle. From what I have read on most blog reviews, users seem to like it a lot. I wish that there were more local ( Malaysian) reviews but I can’t seem to find much about it. Maybe Malaysians love to read on their smartphones more. It is undoubtedly cost effective that way but I wanted something very specific for reading and free from distractions. So far, I have seen the Kindle (Generation 10) priced between RM450 – RM510 in online stores at Shopee.


Black Kindle E-book Reader On White Textile
Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-kindle-e-book-reader-on-white-textile-2237802/


If you have any thoughts about the Kindle, please let me know in the comments below. cheers…


Covid-19 & Moi

Just when I thought my 1st semester would be smooth sailing – I was ambushed by Covid-19. This means I will be juggling my energy between kerja hakiki and part-time study. I am one of the frontliners but working in a primary care setting.


Our risk involved seeing patients who are unaware that they have Covid-19. This is because some patients may be asymptomatic and are coming to the clinic for something totally different. We do not have enough PPE to wear in the outpatient department, so our best defense is a surgical mask, an apron, and gloves. We also hope that more people would stay at home and avoid clinic visits for hand creams and eye drops of very minor ailments.

Despite this, the exams are still happening in 3 weeks. Revision must go on.