Breaking Social Norms

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Hayden Sells
Phycology
11/1/12
Breaking A Social Norm
* What norm did you pick?
The norm I picked dealt with personal space. I went to the study room in my dorm and sat as close as I could to a random person. The reason this made them feel so awkward is because there was usually two to four tables with no one sitting at them and I choose to sit as close as I could to them. * Why did you pick it?

I choose this norm to break for several reasons. One is that I feel very awkward when my own personal space is invaded and I’m not quite sure how I would have reacted. So I wanted to see how other people would react when this happened to them. Another reason I choose this norm was because I wanted to do something that put me in an awkward situation as well as the test subject to see how I would react to it. The last reason I choose to do this was because I wanted to do a norm that wouldn’t be too far fetched to actually happen. I know some of the norms people are doing are really interesting and bizarre but I wanted mine to have a realistic sense to it. * How did you learn about it?

I didn’t really learn about the norm. Personal space is something that everybody has. When this personal space is broken we start to feel very uncomfortable. So picking this social norm was just something that I thought of that would put people in an awkward situation. * What happened?

I did this to a number of different people both male and female. One thing that was a common response in almost all of the people was strange looks. Another thing that happened was their body position changed for relaxed studying to stiff and uncomfortable. * What were people’s reactions?

Like I said before there were some reactions that everybody did. One thing that everybody did was stare for some reason; another thing that people did was become tenser. You could tell because they always sat up, fixed their positions, organized their papers and focused only on what they were...
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