Category: Essays


My Life In The Day Of Compassion

This essay is an assignment on the subject of The Day of Compassion. Part of the Coursera course; Social Psychology by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, United States.

This is my experience on a sunny Friday, September 6th 2013. I have defined the day to be my compassionate day. Right before I went to sleep the night before, I told myself what compassion is. I define compassion as caring for others that needs help. I will give either my money, time or energy to help without wanting any compensation. This is what I thought as the social-responsibility norm.

When I wake up the next morning, I plan to find anyone that need help. I imagine maybe I will stumble to a beggar or maybe someone that just lost her wallet, people in trouble or something else similar.

But I think again how will I met such persons like that? What are the odds of me helping someone? So I decide to go to work by public transportation. I was pretty confident that I will have many chances to show the compassionate me by riding bus. And since social psychology studies show that we will have higher chance if we are not hurried, I decided to take my time and observe the situation around me.

So I walk to nearest bus station. What I did not realize when I left home that morning is, my decision to set my heart to be com-passionate somehow makes me looks more radiant with positive energy. I smile, my eyes twinkling and I walk suavely and confidently full of positive thought and wills.

Here I realized that the fact is, positive thoughts generate positive aura in me. And this is the effect of just the thought, I have not helped anyone yet.

The difference in my behavior today is that I am not hurried. I do not think a couple hours ahead. I enjoy my time. And I like this. I think I should really take my time everyday and stop being always in a hurried. Because it felt good. What makes it good is, I smile, I look at people. People greet me when I am not in hurried. I make conversations. And people tend to cheered up too. This positivity is contagious.

The psychological factor, that prevent this compassionate me from getting out probably is my own selfishness. What I want, what I need, all about me that clouding my mind so that I really not realized that I am part of this great community (Dalai lama, 1999).

By behaving compassionately I incurred no psychological cost. Instead, I benefited psychologically, because I feel happier. This is great, the benefit of course outweigh the cost definitely. Especially when people respond to my compassion by being compassion themselves. They being compassion to other people. They apparently noticed the difference in my behavior. The strangers mostly attribute this as my personality, and friends and family tend to suspect that I just hear a good news or getting something precious (gif, money, etc) that lift my mood up.

If I want to encourage others to behave as I did during the day of compassion, I will use connectedness as one of the psychological technique or what is known as intragroup dynamic. I will teach them the notion that each one of us is part of humanity (Dalai lama, 1999). By showing them how to be a compassionate person, and being compassionate ourselves will foster a more compassionate society.

I predict that in one month from now, my behavior will changed as the result of participating in the day of compassion. I will stop being in a hurry. Connect with people and my community and become compassionate person in a compassionate society.


Lama, Dalai. (1999). The Art of Happiness: A handbook for living. United Kingdom.

This essay unadjusted grade is 12.5 of 14 points. Which is simply the grade received from peers.

These are peer’s assessor comments about this essay:
peer 1 → I like it – I was smiling while reading it 🙂 Well done!
peer 3 → I liked the analysis, I wish you would write more about the impact on others.
peer 4 → Good analysis.
peer 5 → Great Job! I enjoyed reading this because it felt like it came from your heart and not just your mind. I liked the personal thoughts you added.
peer 6 → Woa! Amazing you! I am very interested in reading your thoughtful ideas about compassion and the day in which you have applied a lot of knowledge in social psychology into the reality. Congratulation on you and keep up this good job! 🙂


Analysis of website

This essay is an assignment on the subject of The Internet-Based Persuasion. Part of the Coursera course; Social Psychology by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, United States.

The website strengths

The website is using both central and peripheral persuasion to make young people to not smoking or stop smoking. The central persuasion techniques used in the website among them are facts, statistic and arguments given after each answer in the Tobacco IQ quiz. And the graphics for the mascot and icons in the page (the peripheral persuasion technique) complementing it, creating an attractive website.

The character, Joe Chemo himself, and his story is the most persuasive part of the website. First, his striking picture on the home page, made visitor in an instant (Thin slices theory) attracted to him and arouse curiosity to find out about him. And once visitor knew him on the about page, that just led them to want to know more about his story. And his story is where the persuasiveness took place. Because somehow, the story made us realize the similarity between us and Joe (Robert B Cialdini, The Science of Persuasion)

Based on persuasiveness framework developed by McGuire, W.J, we can see that the website had used both credibility and attractiveness to give informational messages sometimes with a little bit of fear appeal via the website as the source to young receiver to invite them to make a decision to not smoking or stop smoking if they already a smoker.

Compared with more traditional methods of persuasion such as magazine advertisements, television commercials, billboards, and other techniques, the website is superior because it’s interactive ness. Young people can actively engage with it. And they can be part of the campaign by sharing it with their social circle.

The website is equally persuasive when it comes to preventing nonsmokers from smoking or getting smokers to kick the habit. It emphasizes in not to start smoking, but also provide tips on quitting.

The website effect on me personally

As a non-smoker the website can be an useful tool for me to spread the message. I like how the Joe camel’s life story builds its persuasiveness in a very casual and interesting un-boring way.

I also like the quizzes and how I served with facts and arguments after each answer and explained with the correct answers when I answered wrong. I also like the complete information I could get whether I am smoker or not.

I also like how that Joe Chemo character was a more honest image of R. J. Reynolds’s Joe Camel character. It gives me a familiar background story with completely different impression.

The website weaknesses

I think this website could be made more persuasive by increasing its appeal to young audience. Because young people tend to follow the trend, the website should build with current trend too. So it will look very attractive.

Because I have a computer science background so naturally my suggestion will not far from this field of study. In my views, it can be rebuild with HTML5 and CSS3 in latest design color and layout so it will be looks more modern and trendy. It can be connected to Facebook and Twitter for example, so visitor can share the campaign to broader audiences.


This essay effective grade is 10 of 10 points. Which is simply the grade  received from peers.

These are peer’s assessor comments about this essay:

peer 1 → I thought your work was clear and applied social psychology theories well. You clearly analysed the website and had interesting opinions on it, especially as a non-American viewer. I myself am not American, but they did sell Camel cigarettes in my country so I am familiar with it. It is definitely interesting to read a statement written by someone who is less familiar with the image. Well done!
peer 2 → Certain points could have been explained a bit better. Overall, a nicely written analysis.
peer 3 → It is a very good analysis, it has a lot of excellent point and conclusions. Writing is super clear and insightful.
peer 4 → i like the way structured your analysis and the way you give your own opinion